Military Historical Society of Australia’s National Biennial Conference 2014

It was a pleasure to attend this year’s MHSA conference hosted over the Easter Weekend in Maryborough by the Queensland Branch of the Society. Presentations ranged over a broad spectrum of topics with a key note address by Mr Keith Payne VC OAM.

Mr Keith Payne VC OAM

Mr Keith Payne VC OAM

The venue was a revelation for me. The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum in Wharf Street is surely the finest private military museum in Australia. It was created by John and Else Meyers and is run with the help over 100 volunteers who share an obvious passion and enthusiasm for preserving Australia’s military heritage.

Entrance Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum

Entrance Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum

Brian with Museum volunteer Mr John McCoombe standing in front of the largest collection of Boer War medal groups in Australia

Brian with Museum volunteer Mr John McCoombe standing in front of the largest collection of Boer War medal groups in Australia

 

My colleague Brian Randall and I were treated to a fantastic tour of the museum by John Meyers and were absolutely astounded by the medal groups on display from all of the conflicts Australian Service Men and Women have been involved in from the Boer War to Iraq/Afghanistan.

With Museum founder Mr John Meyers OAM in the Gallipoli Room

With Museum founder Mr John Meyers OAM in the Gallipoli Room

On the upper level, the “Gallipoli Room” contains the most significant collection of Gallipoli medals in the world. The room holds the medals of 82, mostly Australian, soldiers decorated at Gallipoli and the medals of 51 of the 370 Australian officers killed there. Included is a prominent display in memory of Lt Col Lancelot Clarke, the oldest and only commanding officer killed on the day of the landing.

Miniature Medal group of Major General Sir William Glasgow and associated memorablia

Miniature Medal group of Major General Sir William Glasgow and associated memorablia

I was very interested to see the miniature medal group for Major General Sir William Glasgow and associated memorabilia. The State Library of Queensland has recently acquired the papers of Sir William Glasgow, including his WWI correspondence.

Medals of Major General Sir Herbert Vaughan Cox KCB, KCMG, CSI

Medals of Major General Sir Herbert Vaughan Cox KCB, KCMG, CSI

Presenting at the Military Historical Society of Australia Converence on WWI collections in the John Oxley Library

Presenting at the Military Historical Society of Australia Conference on WWI collections in the John Oxley Library

 

Paul Sutton speaking about the Beerburrum Soldier Settlement after WWI

Paul Sutton speaking about the Beerburrum Soldier Settlement after WWI

Sergeant Antony Carkagis presenting on the history of 102nd Coral Battery

Sergeant Antony Carkagis presenting on the history of 102nd Coral Battery

Lt-Col Miles Farmer OAM (retd) speaking on the topic of officers and men who served in the Boer War and the roles they played in WWI

Lt-Col Miles Farmer OAM (retd) speaking on the topic of officers and men who served in the Boer War and the roles they played in WWI

It was wonderful to meet other guests and speakers at the conference and a very special experience indeed to be inside the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum. A breathtaking site of memory.

Simon Farley

Curator, Military Collections

State Library of Queensland