A digger’s best friend: an A to Z of animals in war
A graphic exhibition based on our hugely successful A is for Animals held at the Memorial between February and July 2009 is touring regional Australia. With generous assistance from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs commemorations program, A Digger’s Best Friend: an A to Z of Animals in War recognises not only military dogs, but all animals that have worked alongside Australians in war for over one hundred years.
Curators of the exhibition have drawn together a fascinating array of images from the Memorial’s National Collection. They include working animals such horses, mules, pigeons and camels – and others equally important as friends: the mascots, pets and companions that gave soldiers affection, hope and relief from the stress of war.
In a twist upon the theme of man’s best friend, the exhibition also delves into those creepy-crawlies from the animal and insect kingdoms that have made life difficult and even deadly for soldiers. Drawings and photographs reveal rats in the trenches, flies in a ration tin and even a monstrous cobra that moved in with the Australian occupants of a four-man tent in Vietnam in 1967.
An exhibition for all ages, A Digger’s Best Friend represents an exciting direction for the Memorial’s travelling exhibition program. Recognising the value of providing families with a museum experience that answers the learning needs of children, the curators have worked closely with teachers and literacy consultants to develop a child-friendly exhibition that encourages children to learn in the company of their adult family.
Gallery City State Start Finish Eden Killer Whale Museum Eden NSW 5 December 2009 31 January 2010 Narooma Library Narooma NSW 5 February 2010 21 March 2010 Narellan Library Narellan NSW 26 March 2010 9 May 2010 Eskbank House and Museum Lithgow NSW 17 May 2010 25 July 2010 Peppin Heritage Centre Deniliquin NSW 10 August 2010 15 September 2010 Parkes Shire Library Parkes NSW 22 October 2010 21 November 2010 Rosny Historic Centre Rosny TAS 2 December 2010 16 January 2011 Devonport LINC Devonport TAS 24 January 2011 6 March 2011 Castlemaine Historical Society Castlemaine VIC 12 May 2011 28 June 2011