Flaking at the edges, a 104-year-old letter offering a rare insight into the story of a soldier who deserted his post in Albany to fight on the frontline of WWI is now available to the world at a click of a button. The letter, housed at Albany’s Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum, was one of the first historic treasures preserved on the Collections WA website, launched by the State Government this week. The platform already contains 2000 objects from 10 institutions across the State and is open to all community collecting groups to share their stories and artefacts. Private Peter Loney Jr penned the letter in 1916 to his father Private Peter Loney Sr who was on his way to Gallipoli. Signed as his alias, Joseph Martyn, Pte Loney Jr spoke of his “escape” around Australia to join the Australian Imperial Forces at the outbreak of WWI, after fleeing his permanent post at the Princess Royal Fortress. Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum curator David Theodore said members of Australia’s Permanent Forces were not permitted to volunteer for overseas service in the AIF, and if caught, he could have faced prison. “He was following in his father’s footsteps knowing that he had already enlisted and was going off to war to do the same,” he said. “He was off to serve his country the best way he saw he could.” Mr Theodore said the museum would be busy over the coming years transferring the majority of its collection online including pieces that were too fragile to display. “It's a constant struggle to pick out what items are on display,” he said. “The Collections WA platform is an amazing way to be able to upload as much as we can. “Hopefully we can get more people visiting the site to discover what it was like to be in the grounds during these periods of our history.” Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman said the potential to share stories with audiences across the world was “immense”. “This should be a comprehensive meeting place for all WA collections, and I encourage every community group that has a connection to WA culture and creativity to contribute,” he said.