Remembering Valley’s fallen as stories shared with small schools

Ahead of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day this Sunday, November 11, the Bega Valley Genealogy Society has been spreading stories of our service personnel to local schools.

Small schools across the shire have been presented with a copy of the society’s book “Remembering Bega Valley Servicemen of World War I - Battlefield and War Related Deaths”, compiled by Pat Raymond, to add to their libraries.

The book contains biographies and photos, where possible, of the 185 men who came from the Bega Valley, enlisted in WWI and who died as a result of the war.

The book is a great resource not only for the families to remember and research their servicemen relatives, but it is also an excellent read for people who just  love catching up on local history.

“Each person who enlisted had his own unique story and I has tried to discover this from reports in local newspapers which our society holds on microfilm and by interviewing families who had lost their loved ones,” Ms Raymond said. 

“The newspapers proved to be a wonderful source of information giving details of sporting clubs that the men were involved in before enlisting and descriptions of their farewells prior to embarking on the troop ships. 

“On many occasions the local press would print the letters that these men wrote home to their loved ones which gave an insight into the importance that they placed on mateship. 

“They shared the awe of seeing places that they had only heard about during their geography and history lessons at school, as well as confirming the horrors that they had to endure whilst engaged in combat.”

BVGS members will be manning a table outside Coles Bega on Friday, November 9, selling these books for $20 from 9am until noon.

If any other schools within the shire don’t already have a copy in their library, or anyone wishing to purchase a copy of the book, contact Liz McIntyre 6495 6544 and arrangements can be made.

The Bega Valley Genealogy Society is located in the Old Pambula Courthouse, corner of Monaro and Toalla St, Pambula.

It is always looking for members and volunteers who like researching and history.

The society’s collections are particularly valuable for research, but there is plenty for the beginner too. Visitors are always welcome.

Opening hours are Tuesday 1-4pm, Thursday 9.30am – 12.30pm and Saturday 1-4pm.