World War One artillery shells

Artillery shell (Gold Museum collection, 75.175)

Artillery shell (Gold Museum collection, 75.175)

World War One  is often characterised as an artillery war.

Millions of rounds of shells were fired to devastating effect on troops and the countryside.

Soldiers who escaped being blown up by high explosive or cut to pieces by shrapnel were still in danger of suffering shell shock.

Repeated exposure to the sheer concussive force of an extended barrage often leading to the nerve and psychological damage now known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In the Belgium and French countryside farmers every year turn up an ‘Iron Harvest’ of shells, both live and spent.

This shell is on display at the Gold Museum as part of the Shrine of Remembrance’s exhibition Australia Will Be There, on show until September 18, 2016.

Written by Katrina Nicholson, Centenary Exhibition Research Officer, Shrine of Remembrance

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