WW1 at the Melbourne Museum

In a world-first, over 350 of the most significant artefacts from the acclaimed WW1 collections of the Imperial War Museum (IWM) in London, are now on display at Melbourne Museum.

The WW1 Centenary Exhibition commemorates 100 years since the Great War, and we spoke to Melbourne Museum about what visitors can expect.

What can people expect when they visit the WW1 Centenary Exhibition?

Using the full range of modern museum techniques – rare historical objects, extraordinary personal stories, notable works of art, dynamic audio-visual presentations, an illustrated book and multimedia guide – The WW1 Centenary Exhibition aims to give 21st Century visitors a rich and engaging insight through the Imperial War Museum’s collection into this pivotal historical event that continues to shape our lives today.

One item on display is this Rum Ration Cup.

A rum ration cup, from the World War exhibition

Is it very different to what visitors would expect to see at the Imperial War Museum in Great Britain?

Yes, this exhibition consists of 350 rare, carefully selected objects. From the most famous and prized items in the Imperial War Museums’ collections, the 13 Royal Horse Artillery Gun that fired the first British shot on the Western Front, to items that were once important for individual people, including the jacket of typical ‘Digger’ Private Robert Tuckerman from Bendigo, Victoria, or the last photograph of English munitions worker Lottie Meade sent to IWM by her grieving husband Fred after her death.

The exhibition is broken down into ten story areas, which will guide visitors through the broad historical sweep of the war from its outbreak through the battlefronts on land, sea and in the skies, to its impact on civilians back home.

E Battery 13-pounder field gun which fired the first  British shell on land.

E Battery 13-pounder field gun which fired the first British shell on land.

Why should people visit the exhibition?

The exhibition tells vivid personal stories and creates powerful physical experiences that reflect the realities of war as both a destructive  and creative force. It challenges people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives.

What messages would you like people to take away from this exhibition?

The overall message, which the exhibition conveys, is the fighting, devastation and impact of the first global war, allowing people to understand how it is said to have changed the world.

The WW1 Centenary Exhibition is on until 4 October 2015 at the Melbourne Museum.