Allora’s page in the history book of war
In 1914 the population of the area around Allora was around 1500. In a sad pattern repeated in country towns across Australia, the loss of almost seventy of their fit young men represented a huge loss to the district.
The Allora Historical Society will publish a book titled "1914–1918 Allora Soldiers Killed in Action" outlining the lives and service history of soldiers from the town and surrounding district, who were killed in the First World War.
Wendy Ardrey is a member of the Allora Historical Society. She’s working on this publication with fellow volunteers, Trevor Neale, Colin Newport and Lyn Wright. Wendy explains why she’s so enthusiastic about the project.
“I love history and I believe understanding our local history is really important. The history of Allora’s involvement in the war is significant today because there are so many of the original families of the area still living here. Who were these men? What did they do? It’s mind boggling to find this information out.”
Initially it was thought about 47 men had been lost to the First World War. To date, Wendy and the team of volunteer historians from the society have discovered that 69 men never came home. The society’s research efforts have been so successful that they’ve decided to delay the launch of the first edition book until Anzac Day 2016, to give them more time to properly honour these young men.
Wendy thinks the book will be an important addition to the Allora Historical Society’s museum collection, especially for the young people of the district.
“It’s important our youngsters to know about the history of their town. If they think things are tough sometimes now, imagine how it was for these young men in 1914. There’s more to learning than just computers.”
Coincidentally 2016 marks the 100th year since the first Anzac Day ceremony held in Allora.