Zara Clark Museum First World War Exhibition

Zara Clark Museum in Charters Towers holds significant World War l objects in their collection. Working with the Queensland Museum staff, the volunteers at Zara Clark Museum were able to research, conserve, interpret and display these objects due to the generous support provided by the Queensland Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program. The display will rotate each year for three years.

The objects on display include honour boards, photographs, personal letters, medals, uniforms, weapons and other military paraphernalia. See personal and domestic objects, as well as agricultural objects, that were part of the everyday life in Charters Towers during the period of the Great War. This latter part of the collection tells the story of the home front, that is, what was happening in Charters Towers while the men went to war and how did the town keep going?

Each ANZAC day for three years a new display will be opened that interprets a different component of the collection. It allows the community and visitors to be reminded of the events as they unfolded. It will remind them of the hardships of a nation at war, and the limitations and challenges of a regional north-west town that lost a significant number of their male population. It will also celebrate the achievements of the women and men who remained and the crucial role that they played.

Charters Towers, at the time of the Great War, was a bustling busy regional hub. The effect of the war, due to, men leaving to enlist, caused great social upheaval. Mines and the pastoral industry were affected due to labour shortages and the ability for the region to ‘keep going’ is legendary. This exhibition documents how the mines in Charters Towers kept going and who took over the running of the pastoral stations. Letters and postcards home and also to loved ones describing life during the war are a poignant reminder of the differences between the two landscapes – the battlefields of war and the home front of Charters Towers.

The Zara Clark Museum First World War Exhibition was supported by the Queensland Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program.