THE MUSEUM AND THE ANZACS
Brightlingsea Museum’s prime objective is to conserve and celebrate the town’s rich history which is considerable. From early Bronze Age settlements near All Saints’ Church through Roman villas, medieval links with the Cinque Ports, boat-building at the time of King Henry VIII, the battle of Trafalgar and ocean-going yacht racing, including the oyster and sprat trades in Victorian times and more recently the ship-building industries of the Aldous Shipyard and James & Stone Ltd.
Through the millennia Brightlingsea and its people shouldered their maritime duties, never more so than during the First and Second World Wars when our naval base was an important link in the chain that made up East Coast Garrison.
From the Museum’s World War One collection it is clear that the arrival of the Anzac troops at the Australian Engineers’ Training Depot was very special. Marriages took place and connections still exist between the town and Australian and New Zealand descendants of those ‘sunburnt colonials’ who lived, trained and loved here.