At a Friends of Hawthorn Tram Depot committee meeting in October 2014, one of our members said that it would be a good idea to create a small display or exhibit at the Melbourne Tram Museum to commemorate the centenary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli, and the First World War – with a special focus on the connection with Melbourne's tramways and the employees who served. It was further suggested that we look to loan an original tramways honour roll for display, possibly with a small explanatory placard. The committee agreed, and a working party was set up to see what would be possible.
It was generally agreed that the focus would be on the men who served, and how the war affected normal people.
That simple idea grew... and grew. To increase the depth of the exhibition, it was decided early on that multimedia would form an important part of the display. iPad and LCD screens would be a cost-effective way of presenting more of the story, an important consideration given we are a small volunteer organisation with limited budget and physical space.
We secured the generous support of VicTrack and Yarra Trams which allowed us to extend the scope of the exhibition, provide additional technology, and share more of these fascinating stories. We could not have imagined the amount of material we would uncover – for such a small group of soldiers, the variety of war experiences they had was astonishing.
So our relatively small concept grew a little larger than we expected. It was just as well we had six months to pull Tramway Anzacs together; we needed every single day! We hope you enjoy this microsite, the fruits of our research, and the exhibition.