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Call for WWI memories

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Katrina Lyle researches information for the book in the Bacchus Marsh Historical Society archives. Photo – Jessica Howard

By Jessica Howard

James Hogg Moore was just 16-years-old when he successfully enlisted to serve in the First World War. Albert Manly was aged 45.
The age of those who served overseas varied greatly – as did their height, their background and their stories.
The Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society are putting together a hard copy book that will chronicle the stories of each WWI serviceman with a link to the region.
Historical Society member, Katrina Lyle said while most people are aware of the serviceman with dedications located in the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour, there are still hundreds of other names on the roll.
“The Bacchus Marsh Express identified 465 volunteers connected with Bacchus Marsh and District as having enlisted to serve in WWI between August 1914 and November 1918,” she said.
“This included those who spent their youth here; were born in the district but moved away; those who lived and worked in the community at the time of enlistment and those who lived elsewhere but whose family still reside in the area”.
Members of the society have been tirelessly researching the names of those enlisted, and from multiple perspectives including their location, the context of their service role, the broader battle narratives and the reality of trench warfare.
Ms Lyle said each story evoked a picture of Bacchus Marsh as it was 100 year ago, while also brushing on the post war lives of those who returned.
“Many of the soldiers fell in love with the women who nursed them and they often brought their brides home from a busy London hospital to a soldier settlement farm here in this region,” she said.
The stories of the WWI enlistees from Bacchus Marsh and surrounds is set to be published in November 2018.
Katrina Lyle is co-writing the book with Bacchus Marsh Historical Society president Katrina Bradfield.
Ms Lyle said the society welcomed anyone who would like to share a photo, a story or a memory of a soldier in the district.
To submit material, or for more information, contact the Bacchus Marsh Historical Society on 53679336 or enquiries@bmdhs.org.au.