Museum President Doug Alexander said some of the newly displayed artefacts and photographs were recent donations to the museum, and others were being put on view after long residencies on the backroom shelves.
“The greatest part of the display relates to the First and Second World wars, but there are items that extend both forward, such as an emergency chocolate ration from the Vietnam war, and back, like a 25-pound cannonball from Queensland’s first artillery battery in the 1860s and ’70,” he said.
Doug said a priority of the reorganisation was presenting the stories behind the objects. “Sometimes this covers the technological context, as with the array of Second World war military signalling devices, which include a heliographic mirror, a signal lamp, a field telephone, a vehicular wireless set, and a ‘handie-talkie’ two-way radio. Other items feature the war careers of individual servicemen, incorporating new archival research. Also represented is service on the home front, for example by air raid wardens as well as an existing display on the Land Girls.
An eclectic section is devoted to war souvenirs, including the embroidered postcards sent home from France and Belgium in the First World war, trench art made by servicemen themselves, and trophies of the Japanese defeat such as ‘invasion money’ and swords.
The Redland Museum is located at 60 Smith Street, Cleveland, and is open seven days a week from 10am to 3pm. Enquiries to 3286 3494.