Remembering Goulburn on the Western Front: 100th year commemoration

Western Front: Rocky Hill War Memorial Museum will launch ‘Goulburn 1916: On the Western Front’ on Saturday.

Western Front: Rocky Hill War Memorial Museum will launch ‘Goulburn 1916: On the Western Front’ on Saturday.

Rocky Hill War Memorial Museum will launch ‘Goulburn 1916: On the Western Front’ on Saturday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Australian soldiers involvement on the Western Front.

The exhibition will feature weapons, uniforms, booklets and photographic portraits of soldiers from Goulburn who served in the war, celebrating their service. 

This is part of an ongoing celebration of those who served on the Western Front but is also a time for the people to connect with those on the battlefield - Rocky Hill Museum Officer Clair Baddeley

The opening ceremony, which is accessible to the public, will start at 2pm and will have Belgium First Embassy Secretary Olga Cogen and Special Advisor for Anzac-related events Pierre Defourny.

Mrs Cogen and Mr Defourny will be laying a wreath at the memorial. Entertainer Guy Walton will perform First World War songs and reading out a letter between a Western Front soldier and his mother.

Museums officer Claire Baddeley believes that this exhibition is a perfect opportunity for those who have family that served in the battles, and Goulburn residents who are interested in learning more about the community’s past.

Describing the collection as personal and unique, the items will also include the Dead Man’s Penny, a small medallion to family members of soldiers who died on the Western Front. Donated memorabilia from descendants in Goulburn and surrounding areas will also be on display.    

“This is part of an ongoing celebration on the significance of those who served on the Western Front but is also a time for the people to connect with those on the battlefield,” she said.

Goulburn gained war relics from London between 1925 - 1927 due to a scheme pushed by the Australian Government at the time. Spread across different municipalities across Australia, Goulburn received multiple loads, making up a majority of the collection in the Rocky Hill War Memorial.

There were multiple battles in 29 locations which made up the Western Front. In July 1916, The Battle of Fromelles resulted in the death of 16 Goulburn men and injured 37.

A total of 5,500 Australian lives were claimed in The Battle of Fromelles and in total, 46,000 Australians died on the Western Front, outnumbering the lives lost in Gallipoli.  

For more information on the Rocky Hill War Memorial exhibition or to lend war relics, please call Claire Baddeley on 4823 4463.

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