Family collection tells poignant story of war

Members of the Orchard family have presented more than 200 individual military items to the Tasmanian Army Museum, which now holds a display of their vast military lineage.

The collection contains five medal groups spanning three generations, seven WWI diaries, several portraits and a framed ‘mentioned in dispatches’ commendation signed by Winston Churchill.

Arthur Orchard has been a key facilitator in gathering and donating the extensive collection, which includes war medals received by his father, mother, uncle and grandfather.

He hopes the Army Museum will continue to share his family’s proud history with its visitors.

“It took us about 20 years to finally reach the decision to donate the items,” Mr Orchard said.

“It was important to the entire family that the items remain in Tasmania as a collection.

“The collection includes seven diaries that my father wrote during World War 1 which tells the story of the ANZACs in a very intimate way.

“It is essential that these stories continue to be told so that people can understand the history of war and sacrifice in perpetuity.”

Tasmanian Army Museum manager Major Chris Talbot said the Orchard family’s donation was one of the largest collections the museum had ever received.

“It’s incredibly rare that we receive artifacts, particularly medals, spanning several generations,” he said.

“There are some extremely rare artifacts in this collection, including a medal from the Indian frontier that was only issued between 1896-1898.

“These objects allow us to tell true and poignant stories about the experiences of war.”

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