A Boy, A War

During a visit to the Gold Museum, creative writing students from Federation University were given a tour of the museum’s World War I collection and exhibition, Are You Going Too? 

Annette Chapell leads a creative writing workshop with students at the Gold Museum (Photo: Snjez Cosic)

Annette Chapell leads a creative writing workshop with students at the Gold Museum (Photo: Snjez Cosic)

They viewed objects and letters belonging to World War I soldiers and their families. Sovereign Hill Historian Jan Croggon imparted her knowledge of Ballarat during the war and the soldiers’ experiences in foreign lands and on the frontline. Gold Museum Curator Snjez Cosic discussed the stories behind the objects and the process of selecting items for the exhibition.

Students then engaged in a creative writing workshop led by lecturer Annette Chappell. They produced poems based on the objects they held and stories they heard about soldiers’ experiences during the Great War.

Creative writing student Rianh Silvertree produced the following moving poems based on the experiences of Ballarat’s young men who joined the war:

 

Once I Was.

Photographic montage of Ballarat's men who fought during World War I (Image: Andrew Thomas)

Photographic montage of Ballarat’s men who fought during World War I (Image: Andrew Thomas)

Once I was a little boy,

Next day I was a soldier,

Now I lie in Flanders Fields,

And never will get older.

 

Bullet Points.

-Green wool

-Wet sheep

-Soaked damp

-Soul deep

-Rotting socks

-Stinking feet

-Aching bones

-Constant stenches

-Death come quick

-Life in trenches

 

A Boy, A War.

A boy,

A war,

Roy Victor Holloway's enlistment portrait (Image: Gold Museum collection)

Roy Victor Holloway’s enlistment portrait (Image: Gold Museum collection)

A gun,

A toy.

To be a man,

He went to war.

It was the thing,

To die,

For a king.

To be a man,

To be a fool,

A gun’s no toy,

A man’s no tool.

His mother cried,

His country mourned,

His sons and daughters,

Never born.

 

 

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