Head down to the Town Hall in Gayndah to check out Mr Wrench’s impressive war collection. (Picture: Kristen Camp)
Head down to the Town Hall in Gayndah to check out Mr Wrench’s impressive war collection. (Picture: Kristen Camp)

Gayndah war historian shares collection for Remembrance Day

GAYNDAH war historian and paramedic Keith Wrench is sharing his collection of memorabilia with the community until Saturday, in light of Remembrance Day tomorrow.

 

His collection, which has been 30 years in the making, will be displayed at the Gayndah Town Hall for anyone interested.

Mr Wrench said he first displayed his collection in 2018 for the 100 year anniversary of World War I and plans to continue it every two years to remind the community about Remembrance Day.

The display showcases an impressive range of items, including medals, uniforms, photographs and alcohol from World War I, World War II and modern day.

"It's sent us broke just though auctions and I'll see stuff and I'll buy it," Mr Wrench said.

"Some stuff gets given to me, people say I've got this you can have it."

Mr Wrench explaining the history behind the different medals to school students Jacob Masters and Bevan Wrench. (Picture: Kristen Camp)
Mr Wrench explaining the history behind the different medals to school students Jacob Masters and Bevan Wrench. (Picture: Kristen Camp)

One of Mr Wrench's favourite places to find collectables is the Wondai secondhand shop.

"He's got all the stuff out on the footpath, my favourite shop that," Mr Wrench said.

"I love going in there."

A more recent donation to Mr Wrench's collection, was from a local ambulance officer who served eight years in the army.

"He did a bit of a tour of Afghanistan, but this was his stuff and he just gave it to me," he said.

"I said 'I'll just be the caretaker, because in 15 years time if you do have kids, let me know and I'll hand it straight back.'"

The medallion donated by the paramedic is awarded to soldiers when they’ve finished their initial employment training. (Picture: Kristen Camp)
The medallion donated by the paramedic is awarded to soldiers when they’ve finished their initial employment training. (Picture: Kristen Camp)

Another item in Mr Wrench's collection is his Victoria Cross replica, which has a particularly interesting story.

"In 1856 when Queen Victoria came up with the idea, she wanted a medal for her soldiers who did brave acts," he said.

"She asked parliament to come up with the wording and so they came back with 'For the brave', but she turned around and said 'No, I don't want any of my soldiers who haven't got a Victoria Cross to think they're not brave.'"

Queen Victoria instead came up with 'For Valour' to be embossed on the medal.

"I thought to myself, a male would never have thought of that," Mr Wrench said.

Mr Wrench calls this the ‘Grog table’, complete with an edition of port for the 75th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1990. (Picture: Kristen Camp)
Mr Wrench calls this the ‘Grog table’, complete with an edition of port for the 75th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1990. (Picture: Kristen Camp)

Mr Wrench said his interest in war memorabilia was sparked from his grandfather, along with his own experience.

"He was a seventh lighthorse in World War I," he said.

"I just did three years in the military myself"

Mr Wrench said the more he learns, the more enjoys Australian Military history.

"I just love military," he said.

"I learn about the sacrifices people have made."


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