The John Laffin Collection is now on display at its permanent home at The Army Museum, Bandiana (Near Albury – Wodonga at 36° 8’48.60″S, 146°55’3.10″E).
The collection was launched by Major Graham Docksey OAM, the Director of the Museum and Craig Laffin on behalf of the Laffin Family on Saturday 10 October 2009.
Photo: Craig & Kath Laffin at the opening of the John Laffin Collection [Chris Munro]
Craig Laffin gave an interesting insight into how the collection was gathered by his father as the family visited the battlefields of the Western Front over many years. He also conveyed the passion his father had for preserving Digger heritage through the collection of battlefield artefacts.
The collection comprises of many unique artefacts. These include a key to London hotel room found in Australian trenches by John Laffin.
Many of the pieces, including original World War 1 cloth maps, have undergone restoration and preservation before becoming part of the display.
The display will not remain static, but as more artefacts are preserved and prepared for display they will be rotated through time in the display.
The Families and Friends of the First AIF applauds the joint Australian–UK decision, announced by The Hon Greg Combet AM MP and the Hon Kevan Jones MP, to conduct a full DNA testing program on the remains of Australian and British soldiers found in mass graves at Pheasant Wood (Fromelles), and for their continuing commitment to identify as many of the fallen as is possible. We also thank the Australian, UK and French governments for affording dignified individual reburials for these soldiers, buried by German soldiers following the Battle of Fromelles on 19/20 July 1916, in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery presently under construction at Fromelles.