An untold war story of triumph, beauty, art and science – of a globally significant collection and its connection to Western Australia.
Join us for an exclusive screening of Bayonets and Butterflies, followed by a Q&A with the film’s Associate Producer, Julie Hobbs.
Bayonets and Butterflies is the little known, yet powerful story that describes a moment of quiet hope and care, amidst the devastated landscape of the French battlefields 102 years ago. It involves Major General Harold ‘Pompey’ Elliott and Lieutenant General Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs, two much-loved characters in the National Anzac Centre, Albany. The Centre opened in 2014 and was curated by the Western Australian Museum.
Filmmaker Sam Hobbs, great-grandson of Lieutenant General Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs, in partnership with West Australian Production Company, Siamese, and the Western Australian Museum, has created a documentary film telling this poignant story. The film reveals how, in 1918, on the eve of the Villers-Bretonneux offensive and with slaughter and destruction all around them, Australian troops commanded by Hobbs and Elliott rescued French naturalist Eugene Boullet’s priceless collection of butterflies.
“Ranged round the walls from floor to ceiling in cabinets of beautifully polished walnut was the most wonderful collection of gorgeous butterflies I have ever seen” – General Elliott – letter to his wife.
These small objects – the butterflies and the letters – have a large story to tell.
The butterfly story exemplifies the strong personal relationships that emerged between the people of France and Australia, and symbolizes ideals of post-war peace. The documentary explores the extraordinary confluence of a great collector, a great collection, two Australian Generals, a unique rescue mission during the Great War, and how the butterfly legacy continues to resonate through the scientific research being undertaken today.
Courtesy of the Hobbs Family
**This event is suitable for 13 years and over.