A James Cook University researcher is looking for stories and items highlighting how soldiers contributed to Townsville after returning from war.
JCU history lecturer Dr Claire Brennan is gathering material for an upcoming exhibition. She said they were looking for objects that represented not just wartime service but the lives that people built afterwards. In particular, the team is interested in items associated with medical staff who returned from war.
“This sort of material is important to the history of Townsville because returned servicemen and women have actively contributed to the city and we want to recognise their peace-time as well as their war-time service,” she said.
Her research team has already identified a number of returned personnel who actively contributed to the Townsville community after their return, including former Townsville mayors, doctors, nurses, and a lighthouse keeper.
“But we would like more stories and particularly more items that show the way in which people returning from war chose to build their communities and work towards a lasting peace,” she said.
Dr Brennan said the team was particularly interested in stories and memorabilia from WWI returnees.
“This year marks the centenary of the armistice that ended the First World War. It’s a good time to think about the soldiers who returned from the conflict, as well as the ones who died during the war.”
The Swords to Ploughshares project will result in three exhibitions. Exhibitions at the Flinders Street branch of CityLibraries and JCU’s Eddie Koiki Mabo Library will run for the month of November, and a larger display at the Museum of Tropical Queensland will follow.
The initiative is funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs through the Armistice Centenary Commemorative Grant Programme.