Britain

A sleepy coastal town comes alive during wartime

Gold fossickers were the first settlers to the Evans Head area on the far north coast of New South Wales. Not finding gold, they turned to oyster farming and prawning, with Evans Head becoming Australia’s first commercial prawn port.

In 1919, an Italian immigrant, John Rosolen, built the first General Store.

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Special ANZAC stories

I have decided to write this blog to commemorate and remember the men from settlements in and around Surrey Hills who fought in wars.

In Chapter 10 of my book, “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I outlined some of the war service by men from Guildford Junction. This blog goes into more detail and includes stories about men from Parrawe and Bulgobac.

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The humble clothes peg

Ever since humans have worn garments, they have had to wash them. Where to put the garments to dry has a fascinating history. We always think that pegs hung them. However, clothes pegs only have a relatively recent past. Before the nineteenth century, laundry was hung on bushes, limbs or lines without fasteners to hold the clothes in place. … Read more

The Waler – a remarkable horse and an Aussie legend

“By members of the Desert Mounted Corps and friends, to the gallant horses who carried them over the Sinai Desert into Palestine, 1915-19. They suffered wounds, thirst, hunger and weariness almost beyond endurance, but they never failed. They did not come home”. 

Inscription on a monument erected by returned soldiers in Sydney

As we stop tomorrow to remember those who fought in wars but didn’t return home, I thought I would share an Australian story about a unique horse breed in Australia.… Read more

The slow disappearance of one of Fraser Island’s tourist icons 

Every Fraser Island visitor has seen or knows about the Maheno wreck on the eastern shore about five kilometres north of Happy Valley. These days it is a tourist attraction and photographic stop. It must be the most photographed piece of rust in the world. The rusted remains, however, bear no resemblance to the luxury liner that plied its trade between Australia and New Zealand and the war-time hospital shipping the Mediterranean.… Read more

Training for bombing raids that never came

In September 1939, at the start of World War II, Japan was embroiled in its invasion of China, and Australia committed its troops overseas to help Britain. By early 1941, Australia had sent three infantry divisions and substantial air and naval resources to the Mediterranean and European theatres. Thus, in December 1941, when Japan entered the war against the Allies, much of Australia’s armed forces were heavily involved in campaigns far from home.… Read more

Connecting Western Australia to the rest of the world

Introduction

The first telegraph message in the world was sent on 24 May 1844, using Morse code, a system of dots and dashes representing letters of the alphabet. The system was invented by Samuel Morse, inspired by the fact that when his wife died in 1825, he did not hear of the event until days after her funeral due to the slowness of communications at the time.… Read more

Wooden gold

Introduction 

Sandalwood is a highly aromatic timber that has been harvested in Asia over centuries for many uses. The main one has been burning powder from the tree in joss sticks as incense and forms a significant part of religious ceremonies. In Australia, Aborigines had many cultural uses for sandalwood. Some species can be carved into delicate products such as inlaid boxes, ornaments and incense holders.… Read more

The atomic age arrives in a cloud of dust at a sleepy coastal town

That lethal cloud rising above Montebello marks the achievement in science and industry in the development of atomic power. [For] good or evil, for peace or war, for progress or destruction. The answer doesn’t lie with Britain alone, but we may have a greater voice in this great decision if we have the strength to defend ourselves and to deter aggression.Read more