AMISA Remembers ‘Those Who Served’: WWI Memorial Project

AMISA Remembers ‘Those Who Served’: WWI Memorial Project

WWI Memorial Project

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing on 25th April 1915, the Association of Mechanics’ Institutes and Schools of Arts (AMISA) has collected together images and stories of images of 25 First World War Memorials and Rolls of Honour that were erected Schools of Arts and Mechanics’ Institutes as a tribute to those who served.

Few people in Australia were able to remain unaffected by WWI by its end. Almost everyone’s life was touched by loss. From a population of approximately 4.9million, around 420,000 Australians volunteered for service (that’s almost 40 per cent of the male population aged between 18 and 44).  335,000 of those men embarked for active service, 60,284 died and 155,133 were wounded in action. Australia’s casualty rate of 65% (proportionate to total embarkations) was among the highest of any nation in the war.

At the time of the First World War, the Schools of Arts / Mechanics’ Institutes movement in NSW was at its peak both in terms of numbers and their level of activity – and they formed a focus at the heart of the local area that communities rallied to in times of war.

“Soldiers were farewelled and welcomed back home in the local School or Institute hall. Patriotic and fundraising events were held in the halls and groups met there to knit socks, to knot camouflage nets or to pack ‘comfort’ parcels for soldiers serving overseas and prisoners of war,” said AMISA’s President, Dr Roger Morris, AM.

“So it was natural, especially in localities where the School or Institute was the only public building besides the local public school, for communities to place their War Memorials and Rolls of Honours in and/or co-located with the local School or Institute.”

Some Schools or Institutes were also renamed as the Soldiers’ Hall in an outpouring of patriotic fervour and local pride, and some new Schools of this period were built as Soldiers’ Memorial Schools of Arts, providing a place for the local community to honour those who served.

The Association of Mechanics’ Institutes and Schools of Arts (AMISA) was founded in 2003 with the goal of fostering the preservation of the social, cultural and physical heritage of Schools of Arts and Mechanics’ Institutes in NSW. Since its formation, AMISA has attempted to draw the attention of the wider community to the significant role that the Schools and Institutes have played in Australia’s history.

Click here to view images and explore the stories of 25 WWI memorials, which are associated with NSW Schools of Arts or Mechanics’ Institutes.

 

 

 

Newsletter Vol 2, No 2

Newsletter Vol 2, No 2

In this edition:

  • AMISA Website
  • Electronic (Email) Contact
  • Insurance revisited
  • AMISA Committee 2014
  • Q&ANo2: Where and how did Mechanics Institutes / Schools of Arts originate?
  • The AMISA project on WWI Memorials in Schools of Arts and Mechanics’ Institutes

download-iconDownload Newsletter (pdf)