This private Ipswich collection includes historical items dating back to the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Memorabilia, documents, photographs, uniforms, badges and equipment all commemorating soldiers, their stories and the various wars we have been involved in.
Bernie Kington’s military collection is so large it has spilled into every room of his Ipswich house.
“My father and two uncles served in WW2 in England, North Africa and New Guinea. I collected a few badges when I was a kid and it just started from there,” Mr Kington said.
“My first set of medals, a mate of mine found them at the Caloundra tip.
“It’s taken me a few years to accumulate. You try to limit yourself but it’s awfully hard.”
Mr Kington doesn’t just collect memorabilia, he curates it as well.
“I like to find out where it has come from. I wonder what happened to the guy who wore it, where it has been, what is the story behind it?” Mr Kington said.
One of his favourite photographs is a WWI army soldier posing with a koala.
“It’s so typically Australian,” Mr Kington said.
“You can see it was from early on as his uniform doesn’t have the rising sun on it yet.”
Mr Kington enjoys preserving history and gets satisfaction from saving items that might otherwise be thrown out.
“It’s a part of our history and it needs to be preserved. It represents those who went to fight for this great nation of ours,” he said.
“There’s pride in the past and faith in the future. Young people are coming along, it’s up to us to teach them about it and hopefully they will carry on with it.
“There is a huge difference in the way veterans are treated from Vietnam to now. That is from better communication and education but there is always room for improvement.
“Anzac Day is well attended and I’m sure it will be into the future.
“We are just caretakers.”