Teen shares his militaria collection for Anzac display

Sterling Ball was only seven when he first started looking through military books. 

This week the 14-year-old entered the Ballarat Library with a mission to set up a display of his collection of militaria to showcase the importance of the Anzac legend and show his respect before the important day. 

“It is definitely important and it should be remembered and respected,” he said. 

“It is better than having a blank space and being it is Anzac Day, they deserve to have a section that people can come and look at to remind them that this stuff is really important and the history of the men is really important and shouldn’t be left in a case in the shed.

“When I was about seven, my mum bought a huge collection of military books from a collector who had been doing it for decades. 

“I was bored one day. I was about seven, and I flicked open a book and just kept reading from there and reading about military history, then started to get into the objects themselves and the history behind them and the men that wore them or used them.” 

While Sterling didn’t want to list one item as his favourite, he did admit to a couple of items standing out. 

“I don’t like to be biased, but I really do like the medals and the crutches because they are a direct connection the men,” he said. 

“The crutches were hand made in the trenches and the medals were awarded to the men themselves. You can read their names.” 

The collection includes items from World War I right up until the latest conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

“I have a stall at the Ballarat Mill Market and one at the Newcomb Mill Market,” he said 

“I just sort of sell stuff I can bear to part with to fund the stuff I can’t bear to part with.”

The display area in the library will hopefully be used by more people with a passion, according to Australiana Research Room librarian Veronica Moriarty. 

“People can come and submit their own exhibition,” she said. “They haven’t always got a forum to display this stuff.”

The items will be on display until April 30.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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