History SA/Veterans SA’s travelling exhibition Bravest of the Brave,which tells the moving stories of the eight South Australians awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War, has now arrived at Port Pirie. It was kindly transported from the Port Lincoln RSL Museum by a relative of the president and set up by four volunteers at Port Pirie RSL Military Museum.
The exhibition has already been well received and hopes to attract visitation by students from the 18 schools in the district. An article featured in the local Recorder newspaper on Thursday 28 February while that evening there an interview with Port Pirie RSL’s curator Angela Mertens was aired on the local TV station Southern Cross Austereo’s 6.30 pm news.
Affectionately known as BOB, the exhibition consists of seven double-sided pop up banners and four wooden plinths displaying the men’s framed citations and replica medals.
The eight ordinary men were Arthur Blackburn, Phillip Davey, Roy Inwood, Jorgen Jensen, John Leak, Arthur Sullivan, Lawrence Weathers and James Park Woods – who on one day of their lives, under extraordinary circumstances, demonstrated extraordinary heroism for their comrades and country.
Some were born or educated in South Australia; some enlisted here, while others lived here either before or after the war.
The Victoria Cross is the British and Commonwealth’s armed forces’ most coveted award, their supreme decoration for gallantry, under enemy fire. Only 1,356 medals have been awarded since its introduction in 1856.
The display will be at the Port Pirie RSL Military Museum throughout March and until after ANZAC day on 25 April. It will return to Adelaide soon after that date in time for the About Time History Festival in May when it will be displayed at the Vietnam Veterans Federation of SA’s Club rooms in Warradale.
The first of many projects that are being prepared worldwide to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in 2014-2018,Bravest of the Braveis available from History SA free of charge to travel to schools, RSL clubs, museums, libraries, aged care facilities, community centres etc. There is also a schools resources kit. Enquiries regarding the exhibition’s availability should be made on 08 8203 9888 or email for more information.
Photographs of the exhibition at Port Lincoln and at other venues including its launch by the Hon Jack Snelling MP in April 2012 can be seen here