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Remembering Illawarra diggers online

from the Daily Telegraph 30 March 1917, Mrs J.E. Fletcher of Woonona and her five sons and son-in-law

from the Daily Telegraph 30 March 1917, Mrs J.E. Fletcher of Woonona and her five sons and son-in-law

A 1919 postcard from Egypt to Australia, a nurse’s letter published in the Illawarra Mercury in 1915 and a Bible belonging to a soldier killed in Pozieres, France, in 1916 are just some the treasured family heirlooms which have already been shared as part of the Illawarra Remembers 1914-1918 project.

The project is a joint partnership of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama Councils, the University of Wollongong, the Illawarra Family History Group, the State Government of NSW and the Library Council of NSW.

Together the organisations are calling upon people to share photographs, documents and personal mementoes from their family archives relating to World War One. The items will be photographed or scanned, and added to a new online resource which is being developed at illawarraremembers.com.

Ultimately, this online collection will be launched to mark the Centenary of World War 1 and linked to resources at the State Library of NSW and the Australian War Memorial.

“This is a fascinating project and one I’d encourage everyone to get involved in and support,’’ Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

“By collecting these personal artefacts we will be able to develop an essential resource that will be able to be used by generations to come to remember and reflect upon the Great War. Further, these items are from the people who are directly connected to our community, who grew up walking the same streets we do today. It’s essential their legacy is remembered.’’

Meanwhile, Market Square, Wollongong Town Hall and the site of Throsby’s Stockman’s hut are featured on a new Heritage Trail brochure being launched by the  Lord Mayor last week.

The Heritage Trail features 23 locations across the city, including some of the most significant and historic landmarks post-European settlement. It takes about two hours to complete.

The brochure was put together by the Wollongong Heritage Advisory Committee and Wollongong City Council’s heritage staff.

The brochure is available for download or hardcopies can also be picked up at the iHub in lower Crown Street and from Council’s Administration Building. Copies will also be distributed to tourism-related businesses, such as hotels, in the city.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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