Small tales from the Great War

On the wall opposite the ANZACs Journey wall, four interactive stations tell six “small tales from the Great War”, symbolic stories that represent some of the fighters’ experiences: their daily lives (“itching all the way to glory”), their bonds with the horses (“the horses were left behind”), dealing with water shortages, the first appearance of the tank on the battle arena in the Land of Israel, and the importance of Be’er Sheva as a key to the conquest of the Land of Israel.

A special chapter is dedicated to George Lambert, the Australian war painter, who brought back his drawings and impressions from the battlefields.

In the photo corner, visitors are invited to have their picture taken against the backdrop of a photo from the old days, with an Australian cavalryman. The photo is taken by a camera resembling a camera from the period. The photo is then made available as a souvenir in the visitor’s digital account.

The exhibit

Next to the photo corner, visitors will find the entrance to a bunker, made to resemble the bunkers that surrounded Gaza at the time. The entrance leads to a large elevator, where the visitors have the chance to watch an audiovisual program telling the story of the ANZAC cavalry until the conquest of Be’er Sheva. A war veteran visiting his family at the British military cemetery in Be’er Sheva pays his respects to his fallen comrades while recounting the story of the ANZACs’ voyage from Australia, via Gallipoli to Gaza and Be’er Sheva.

The elevator slowly goes up and at the end of the performance, surprise: the elevator doors open and the visitors find themselves taking in the view of the impressive cemetery from the balcony. The calm after the storm. On the balcony, an inscription quotes from the text that appears on the tombstone of the Jewish soldier Seymour van de Berg: “So far from home, so close to his loved ones.”

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