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WWI stories

NMA Director Mathew Trinca at exhibition opening. Source: SMH. Photo: Jeffrey Chan.

Megan Gorrey Canberra’s National Museum of Australia exhibition tells story of World War I home front  The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 April 2015

When Sir Robert Menzies gave his sister a silver serving dish that bore the message “Peace, Greenie” soon after Armistice Day in 1918, the gift marked more than just the end of World War I.

The belated wedding present carried a message of reconciliation after Isabel eloped against her family’s wishes on the eve of the conflict.

Her brother was the only relative who didn’t cut off contact with her after she climbed out a window and fled to marry a soldier she had fallen in love with.

Sir Menzies’ great niece Annabelle Dennehy inherited the serving dish from her grandmother, who was very close to the former prime minister.

“It was something she particularly cared about, it was a precious item for her.

“She had married a man with the last name of Green, and Bob always called her ‘Greenie’.

“So the ‘Peace Greenie’ is more than just a celebration of peace, it’s also peace with the family, because the family took her back at that time.”

The Menzies’ are not the only family whose personal story is told through The Home Front: Australia during the First World War at the National Museum of Australia.

The exhibition was one of three projects the museum launched on Monday to mark this year’s World War I centenary.

It tells the story of 23 Australians and the impact the war had on their lives, families and communities between 1914 and 1918.

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To see how other CAMD museums are telling the story of WWI and its impact on Australia and New Zealand explore our CAMD WWI Centenary Calendar of Events & Activities