Goldfields War Museum, Boulder, Western Australia
The Goldfields War Museum is housed in the Boulder Town Hall, in what was originally the library and later a doctor’s surgery. This Museum depicts the involvement of the men and women from the Goldfields that served. The Field of Poppies is the community’s way to honour, respect and remember the servicemen and women who have served and sacrificed during World World 1 and subsequent wars.
In 2014 the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the RSLs (Returned Servicemans League) launched the project in St Barbara Square, Kalgoorlie. St Barbara is the patron saint of miners. The community knitted, crocheted, made felt or plastic poppies and a large selection of these decorate the stairs and flowerpots of the Town Hall. The poppy is a symbol of remembrance.
In the foyer of the Town Hall is the Roll of Honour, made in 1920. The names appearing on here are fathers, sons and brothers of Boulder residents. People in the Goldfields believed it was their duty to serve, “It is a sweet and noble thing to die for one’s country”.
Tim our tour guide told us a story of an event during the war. He said that if you went to the recruiting office and could not sign up for whatever reason, they gave you a special badge to wear so that others could see that you had wanted to join but couldn’t. At a ball held at the Town Hall, there was a man who did not wear a recruiting badge, so the older fellas took him outside and gave him a “touch up”. You could not get a job in the mines if you hadn’t wanted to serve.
Many local people have donated memorabilia to the War museum, including this gorgeous patchwork quilt made by locals. The materials used are all printed in military designs.
This small museum is well worth a visit. Lest we forget!