WWI

Reclothing fertile acres – a history of Parrawe

Soon the haunting atmosphere of these forgotten farms will be a thing of the past and stately forests will reclothe these fertile acres”. Cath Lott

Introduction

Parrawe is located on the basaltic plateau immediately west of Surrey Hills, north of the Wandle River, and south of the Hellyer Gorge. This tongue of land ranges from 500 metres to 640 metres above sea level.

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Extending the railway to the west coast

Introduction

In my book “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I dedicated a chapter to outline the construction of a horse-drawn wooden tramway in the mid-late 1870s. The chapter focused on the monumental task of constructing 74 kilometres of a new line through some sections of dense rainforest, all cleared by hand.

As I wrote in the book, I believe it is the longest wooden tramway built in the world.

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The silver town that was auctioned off the face of the earth

After James ‘Philosopher’ Smith discovered the rich Mount Bischoff tin deposit near Waratah in 1871, there was a keenness to prospect other areas of the West Coast region. Prospector William Robert Bell was one of them. He was employed by the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL Co.) in May 1875 to carry out prospecting on the eastern boundary of Hampshire Hills following the discovery of tin near Mount Housetop, some three miles away.

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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

Z Special Unit Part 3 – the fate of the Jaywick and Rimau men

What happened to Bill Reynolds?

In Part 1, I provided details about Bill Reynolds’ heroic work rescuing civilians affected by the fall of Singapore aboard the Kofuku Maru, which was renamed as the Krait and played a pivotal role in the success of Operation Jaywick.

While Reynolds wasn’t part of Jaywick, he delivered the Krait to Australia and was going to captain the vessel on the daring raid to Singapore Harbour.… Read more

Celebrating Wattle Day

Today is the first day of spring in Australia, a day we celebrate nationally as Wattle Day. It is the time of the year when some wattles flower producing an abundance of yellow inflorescence. One of the 1,070 wattle species is our floral emblem – the golden wattle (Acacia pycantha).… Read more

The cable cutters

I’ll put a girdle ‘round the earth in forty minutes

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

While travelling around the country, I came across yet another little-known wartime story which again highlights the heroics of Australians. This time it involves midget submarines and divers cutting underwater telegraph cables to thwart the Japanese communication efforts towards the end of World War II.… 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