Spirit of the ANZACs
Discover the people, experiences and sacrifice that shaped Queensland.
Of the almost 58,000 Queenslanders who left our shores to serve in World War I (WWI), more than 10,000 never returned home.
Their sacrifice has been commemorated in the ANZAC Legacy Gallery, a permanent exhibit at Brisbane’s Queensland Museum combining more than 400 WWI artefacts with cutting-edge interactive multimedia displays.
Queensland Museum Chief Executive Officer Dr Jim Thompson said the Anzac Legacy Gallery featured two central themes of ‘Queensland at War’ and ‘Queensland Remembers’.
“ANZAC Legacy Gallery will give visitors an insight into wartime experiences, stories of soldiers who fought on the battlefields and those at home during the First World War,” Dr Thompson said.
“The gallery provides an opportunity to imagine the people behind these objects and their life stories and connect them to contemporary Queensland.”
Queensland Museum Principal Curator Geraldine Mate said many Queenslanders have a personal connection to the artefacts.
“The majority of the artefacts on display were donated to the museum and we’ve managed to match almost 70% of them with the families of their original owners,” Ms Mate said.
“Some objects were donated nearly 100 years ago so it wasn’t an easy process and we’re always looking to find more descendants.”
The gallery’s centrepiece Mephisto, the only surviving A7V Sturmpanzerwagen tank in the world, was captured and brought back to Brisbane by Major James Robinson and his 26th Battalion.
“Major Robinson’s family came to the opening of the ANZAC Legacy Gallery to see Mephisto,” Ms Mate said.
“They were proud of what their ancestor achieved – it’s pretty cool to be able to reach out and touch history like that.”
Mephisto also holds special significance for many Queenslanders.
“So many people have talked to us about how they have climbed on the tank as a child or they remember it outside the old museum,” Ms Mate said.
“It’s amazing how much of an ongoing connection there is between people and the tank.”
Plan your visit
Level 1 Exhibition Gallery, Queensland Museum, South Brisbane
9:30am – 5pm daily.