Shane Blackman from World War Living History brings Anzac exhibition to Cessnock and Kurri Kurri Libraries

A unique and free interactive display about World War I will be held at Kurri Kurri and Cessnock libraries in the lead-up to ANZAC Day.

Shane Blackman from World War Living History will present the display and hold talks at Kurri Library on Thursday and Cessnock Library on Friday.

Mr Blackman said the exhibition is like a trip back in time, with a mix of fact, storytelling, uniforms and equipment.

“For me personally, remembering Australian military history is not about war, it's not really about guns and bombs or tanks and planes. It's about the people,” he said.

“It's about average everyday Australians put in harsh, trying and often life threatening positions, and seeing them rise above and not only survive, but also grow.

“As a nation, Australians remember the ANZACs for a lot of different reasons.

“For me, it's acknowledging and remembering those men and women from the past, their endurance, their courage, their mateship and loyalty, and of course their sacrifice

“But it's not just about remembering a 100-year-old story, it's also about learning those lessons and bringing those character traits into the lives of today's young Australians.”

Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said it was a privilege to have Mr Blackman sharing stories of such a pivotal point in history with our community.

“The fascinating history talk and hands-on display will give those who attend the opportunity to hold authentic soldiers’ equipment and to try on replica uniforms,” he said.

“The exhibition is designed to appeal to a multi-generational audience and is a brilliant opportunity for grandparents, parents and young people to come together to share the hardship, courage and sacrifice of our service men and women.”

The display will run at Kurri from 9am to 4pm Thursday, and Cessnock from 9am to 5pm Friday, with talks at 10.30am and 2.30pm each day.

Entry is free but bookings for the talks are essential – call Kurri Library on 4937 1638 or Cessnock Library on 4993 4399 to reserve your seat.