Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum owner John Meyers with retired Major General John Cantwell in front of the new display.
Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum owner John Meyers with retired Major General John Cantwell in front of the new display. Alistair Brightman

General adds memories and a bullet to military museum

A BULLET that almost hit retired Major General John Cantwell while serving in Iraq is his most treasured possession in a new display in Maryborough.

With 38 years worth of memories on display in Maryborough, the man who commanded Australian troops in Afghanistan hopes it will help the public reflect on the mental price soldiers often pay during warfare.

Mr Cantwell is the latest defence force veteran to donate memorabilia to the Maryborough Military Museum.

The exhibit was unveiled on Sunday, where Mr Cantwell, former Chief of Army Lieutenant General Peter Leahy and Victorian Cross recipient Keith Payne all spoke about the effect of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Cantwell said it was an offhand comment to military museum founder John Meyers about the "junk" he had at home that led to his exhibit donation.

It includes uniforms, utensils, ceremonial swords and other items Mr Cantwell collected in almost four decades in the army and a painting of Mr Cantwell donated by Maryborough artist Gina Davey.

Mr Cantwell, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, said the bullet that almost hit him while serving in Iraq in 2006, narrowly missed his head and hit a wall behind him.