Rare war artefacts on show

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre education officer Nicole Azzalini displays a replica of Cyril Kelly’s dead man’s penny as part of the exhibition.
Camera IconBunbury Museum and Heritage Centre education officer Nicole Azzalini displays a replica of Cyril Kelly’s dead man’s penny as part of the exhibition. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Items used and letters written during World War I will be among artefacts on display as Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre commemorates the Centenary of Armistice.

The museum will pay homage to those who served during the war with an exhibition from November 8.

Remembrance Day – November 11 – will mark 100 years since the armistice that ended the war after four years of brutal conflict.

More than 32,000 Australians enlisted for service and many – including those from Bunbury – never returned home.

Among the artefacts set to be on display at the museum is Vera Paisley’s suitcase, which the nurse – and now one of the heroes of the Great War – travelled with during WWI as she helped shell shocked victims.

The suitcase is on loan from the Australian War Memorial Collection and still bears tags from her destination.

Other Bunbury links in the exhibition is a replica of Cyril Kelly’s dead man’s penny and letters the Bunbury-born soldier wrote to his mother while serving between November 6, 1915 to December 19, 1916.

Museum registrar Debra Paini said it was emotional transcribing the 18 letters.

“Transcribing them was really an emotional time, it made me feel like I was actually there,” Mrs Paini said.

The telegram notifying Mr Kelly’s mother of his death is also in the collection.

Mayor Gary Brennan said the exhibition highlighted profound stories that provided thought-provoking insights into the lives of the men and women of Bunbury who served in the war.

“Many did not return and those who did often suffered trauma from their experiences. Through this exhibition we honour these individuals,” Mr Brennan said.

“I encourage the whole community to see this important display.”

The exhibition will run until January 8 and entry is free.

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