As part of the About Time History Festival, History SA held a major event over two days on the theme The Great War at Home. More than 400 people enjoyed a range of talks, activities and displays but for the community history sector the highlight of this event was a temporary display of 33 objects drawn from the collections of community museums and collections from around South Australia.
The aim of the exhibition was to showcase some of the depth and breadth of South Australian community collections and to make some of the regional stories behind the objects accessible to an audience in Adelaide. To do this a quite extraordinary range of objects were sourced, including fundraising badges, memorial plaques, a doll, crochet work, photographs, postcards, embroidered or printed textiles and a copy of the Australian war board game ‘Trencho’. Each object was presented with a carefully written caption that either told a local history story or connected the object to the exhibition theme. They worked together to show that plenty was going on on the Home front to support and recognise the efforts of soldiers overseas and to reflect some of the experiences of families and communities at home. Visitors to the exhibition certainly appreciated the interesting variety of objects and the stories behind them.
History SA greatly values the input of community museums and collections into our programs and for the Great War at Home exhibition we were very pleased to work with 14 community museums and organisations:
- Australian Army Museum of South Australia
- Burra Branch National Trust of South Australia
- Edithburgh Museum
- Embroiderers’ Guild of SA Museum
- Goolwa National Trust Museum
- Hope Cottage Museum, Kingscote
- Jamestown National Trust Museum
- Kingston S.E. Branch National Trust of SA
- Moonta Mines Museum
- Mount Lofty Districts Historical Society
- Prospect Hill Historical Museum
- Repatriation General Hospital Museum
- RSL Waikerie Sub Branch
- South Australian branch of the RSL
- Stansbury Museum
Highlights of the exhibition were many, but included the daughter of Ross Perry coming in to see his photograph in the exhibition. School boy Ross received a commendation during the First World War for knitting 23 pairs of socks to send to soldiers overseas.