Love, romance, passion.
They help shape our lives, even in times of hardship or sorrow, even in time of war.
War and separation heighten feelings between lovers, creating for some a sense of urgency. Romances blossom, and marriages follow, sometimes within days or weeks as couples take a chance, defying an uncertain future. Other couples, more cautious, put passion on hold.
Separation took its toll. Mementoes of a lover – letters, gifts and photographs – are always treasured, but under the pressures of war they can keep a relationship alive.
While war threw many couples together, separation, loneliness and trauma could tear others apart.
Peace brought continued anguish for those who had lost a partner. For survivors, it meant new beginnings. Thousands of women crossed the globe, following uniformed strangers from foreign lands. At home, relationships built on, or influenced by, wartime experiences were beset by challenges but also blessed with great joys.
The exhibition is divided into five themes: Romance and recruitment, Meetings and Marriages, Letters and Longing, Loss and Loneliness, and Beyond the Battlefield.
Each theme is illustrated with personal stories, photos, artworks, film and sound, and relevant objects such as gifts of jewellery, wedding dresses, marriage certificates, etc.