The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
One Man One Trophy
The A.I.F. in this country has now been granted the right to collect trophies in the field for the Australian War Museums. The aim is not only 10 collect for the great Commonwealth War Museum which is to be established, but it is hoped that enough articles will be obtained to provide for substantial trophies from the various battlefields to be presented to all the State Capitals and the larger country towns.
The success of the scheme depends on the interest and efforts of the individual officers and men in the field. Every member of the A.I.F. is asked to contribute. The average man, who has been fighting for two or three years or more, has lost his enthusiasm for war trophies. He no longer has a proper sense of their value to Australia. The true test of such value is the interest that every man felt in souvenirs in his first week of the war. That is the interest which will be taken in trophies by our relatives and friends in the Commonwealth, and such interest will increase as time goes on.
The collection of these trophies by every officer and man will be generously supported by the Commonwealth Government. In the great National War Museum each Division will have its gallery and each Brigade and Regiment and other unit its court. The walls will be hung with huge enlargements of photographs and with pictures by Australia's leading artists, depicting every phase of the long campaign. There will be models of leading battle areas, and the trophies will include everything from captured guns and vehicles to the smallest articles of interest. Every sort of weapon and munition and piece of equipment used by ourselves and our enemies will be on permanent exhibit. These courts and galleries will tell the story of the war to Australians of this and succeeding generations, with all its sacrifice and endurance, and heroism and horror, as it can never be told by word or pen. Australia must never be allowed to forget. Each trophy will be a memorial to those who have fallen in the war.
Already the infantry and other services in France have collected many thousands of trophies, great and small. The display made by the Light Horse and other services here will be what the members of the Force in Egypt and Palestine make it. We are starting late, but the thing can still be done on a grand and worthy scale if every officer and man will play his part. This collection depends entirely on personal effort, and that effort should be made as a sacred duty.
The proceedure is simple. Each man as he gets a trophy will apply to his unit for a label, fill in necessary particulars, together with his name, and then hand in the article. The trophies in portable packages will then be forwarded to Brigade, where they will be taken over for the War Museum by the Australian War Records Section. Each article as it appears in the Museum will bear for all time the name of the giver.
The articles which may be collected have been set out in A.I.F. Orders. Nothing of actual military value is to be collected; outside that the simple test is whether the article is of any interest, and tells any story, however small, of the campaign. Officers and men are especially asked to hand over to the National Museum, now or at a future date, their own personal souvenirs, especially those dealing with the earlier fighting on Gallipoli and in this country. It is better to have a trophy with your name on it in a National Museum, where it does honour to your Regiment and' the A.I.F. as a whole, than to shut it up away from the public in your own house. And to give it to the Museum is to ensure its safety. Of all the personal souvenirs collected by the A.I.F. at Gallipoli or since, not one in twenty has reached or will reach Australia. Nearly all of them are carried about for a time and then abandoned, or are lost along the track.