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WWI uniforms get new display cabinet with grant

Saluting Their Service Grant
Two First World War military uniforms belonging to Lieutenant Henry Shedden Baring Young will be displayed in a new cabinet at Fairymead House thanks to the Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program. Photo: Morgan Everett

Two First World War military uniforms will undergo conservation work to be displayed in a new cabinet at Fairymead House thanks to a grant awarded to Bundaberg Regional Council.

Council was successful in securing Australian Government funding from the Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program which aims to support essential local projects commemorating the service of veterans and preserving Australia’s military history.

The grant funding will be used to continue to maintain and display the uniforms of Lieutenant Henry Shedden Baring Young, the son of Ernest and Margaret Young who were part original owners of Fairymead Sugar Mill and Plantation.

Lieutenant Young served in the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War and was awarded a Military Cross for his efforts.

His war uniforms were donated to the museum by the Young family and are part of a military display in the Margaret Room, together with a pair of binoculars and photographs of the war medals he received during service.

Bundaberg Mayor Helen Blackburn said the grant would allow Fairymead House to continue to preserve the condition of the uniforms while allowing visitors to view them safely and accessibly.

“This project holds significance to the community on a local level since Henry Young was from a local family,” Mayor Blackburn said.

“The new display cabinet will help to raise general awareness about how many war heroes were just ordinary people from diverse backgrounds doing their bit to contribute to society and for want of a better future.”

Honouring personal stories

In applying for the grant, Council engaged with a textile conservator regarding the preservation of the uniforms and a museum consultant to seek out the most suitable cabinet to display them.

The Young family were also contacted to gather further information relating to their contributions to the war efforts.

“We have been donated a letter from the family that was written by Lieutenant Young which explains his heroic adventures and the reasoning as to why he was awarded a Military Cross,” Mayor Blackburn said.

“We believe that continuing to preserve these uniforms is a meaningful way to honour personal stories and serves as a tangible reminder of the impact of war on individuals and society as a whole.

“It is especially important in helping modern generations connect with the past and appreciate the contributions of those Australians who served their country.”

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