The Australian War Memorial’s new exhibition, A lifetime of service for Australia, tells a selection of personal stories of some remarkable Australians who have served in Australia’s defence forces in multiple conflicts.
While many have served their country during wartime, fewer have followed the call of duty in more than one conflict. This exhibition tells the stories of those who served their country, and then chose to redeploy in subsequent conflicts or theatres of operation throughout the last century.
Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson said the stories told in the exhibition demonstrate an unwavering commitment to serving Australia.
“This exhibition tells the personal stories of those incredible Australians who served across multiple conflicts, in some cases going on to serve in peacekeeping or other public service capacities,” Dr Nelson said.
“William Cope, for example, was already a military veteran of two conflicts, the Sudan and the Boer War, when he was rejected for active service during the First World War. Instead, Cope made his contribution to the war through voluntary organisations such as the French Red Cross, the Australian Voluntary Hospital, and the Australian Comforts Fund.
“Williams’s story is just one of the many stories told, and highlights that there is more than one way to serve your country, outside of the conventional military roles.”
The stories told in A lifetime of service for Australia demonstrate how much the world has changed, and illustrate more modern experiences in the Australian defence forces, where multiple deployments are becoming the new normal. In doing so, they also show how experiences more than 100 years ago continue to resonate today.
The exhibition, located in the Mezzanine Gallery in Anzac Hall, is currently open to the public and will be on display until April 2019.