Historic WWI letters tell of Townsville family’s tragic loss

Just days after Townsville residents Annie and Duncan Baxter learned their son Neil had died at Gallipoli they received a letter from him in the post.

It was full of youthful bravado and attempts to quell family anxiety back home and a heartbreaking reminder of all that they had lost.

From 26 – 28 July CityLibraries Thuringowa will host a free white gloves interactive experience with First World War treasures from State Library of Queensland (SLQ) such as letters, diaries and photographs.

SLQ Regional Coordinator Niles Elvery said the white gloves experience allows people to get close and personal with a curated selection of First World War treasures such as letters, diaries and photographs.

The Baxter’s story is one of a number of local Townsville stories that have been carefully curated for the city’s white gloves experience.

State Library will also be holding a workshop to show residents and visitors how to care for their own World War items and heritage organisations will also have the opportunity to learn how to promote and share collections online.

Mr Elvery said the Baxter story was a poignant example of the losses many Townsville families endured during wartime.

In the Baxter’s ill-fated letter Neil wrote: "We expect to be in action before many days are over—the sooner the better, as we are all anxious to have a 'go,' and I think the Australians will make a name for themselves."

“The workshops are part of the Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation program and provides the community with an opportunity to participate in the 100 year commemoration of the First World War,” Mr Elvery said.

Q ANZAC 100 captures living memories of Queensland’s experiences during and after the First World War and provides people across Queensland an opportunity to learn, understand and contribute to the Anzac Centenary.

First World War Treasures: a white gloves experience, as part of SLQ’s Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation program, is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.

Where: CityLibraries Thuringowa
Free, bookings required: (07) 4727 8310
When: Wednesday 26 July
White gloves experience | 10 am- 12 pm   Conservation clinic | 1pm – 4pm

Links: whatson.Townsville, slq website

For further media information and images please contact:
Dianne McKean | 07 3842 9847 | communications@slq.qld.gov.au

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