R.D. Milns Antiquities Museum; Dr Janette McWilliam and Mr James Donaldson

This project will both locate, research, and publish information about antiquities brought back as souvenirs by Queensland service personnel during the First World War and tell the stories of the service men and women who collected them. The project seeks to understand both the appeal of finding souvenirs during the war period, and the reasons for bringing them back to Australia. To date, approximately sixty artefacts from nine collections originally belonging to twelve personnel have been identified. These artefacts range from small curios such as scarabs and coins, through to mosaics and larger sculptures. Many artefacts are of Egyptian origin, acquired in situ while personnel were either training or convalescing. Other artefacts were acquired during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign (1915-1918), or by the signalmen of the ANZAC wireless corps stationed in Mesopotamia between 1916 and 1919.

Project members

Dr Janette McWilliam

Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, Director of Teaching and Learning, Director/Senior Curator RD Milns Antiquities Museum

Mr James Donaldson

Senior Museum Officer
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry