Excess Baggage – picking up the pieces
The City of Armadale's History House Museum is displaying memorabilia commemorating the stories of the service men and women that returned from World War 1.
The latest exhibition, Excess Baggage, delves into the lives of men and women from the district who enlisted and survived the war and returned to settle back into the community and pick up the pieces of their previous lives.
Mayor Henry Zelones OAM, JP said he was surprised to learn that almost 80% of the local men and women that came home did not stay.
“With the number of people returning from service there was great competition for jobs, and with physical or mental disabilities they could no longer do their previous line of work.
“Many took up the offer of the Soldier Settlement Scheme to purchase land and established wheat and sheep farms in the Wheatbelt district, or orchard and dairy farms to the south.
“There are some fascinating souvenirs and memorabilia on display during the exhibition, such as a diary kept by Claude Marsh during his time as a prisoner of war.
“Claude joined the war efforts in France as part of the 16th Battalion in February 1917 and only two months later was captured by the Germans during the Battle for Bullecourt, and remained captured for the next 20 months,” he said.
The exhibition opens on November 15 and will run to early May 2019 at History House Museum, and can be viewed during normal business hours, 10am to 4pm.