The history of Gunnedah’s soldiers has been captured in a new book written by local Geordie Clark.
One-hundred copies of We are the Dead – Gunnedah’s Great War was published in August after four years of research into service personnel from the region who enlisted in World War I.
The book contains 197 profiles of men and women, with information and photos drawn from The Australian War Memorial, archives, and in some cases, family members.
The publication even bears the 100 years of Anzac: The Spirit Lives 2014-2018 logo, a permission, which must be sought from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
The self-funded book is the culmination of more than two thousand hours of research, writing and graphic design and Mr Clark said he was “somewhat excited” when the box of books turned up on his doorstep.
“I liked how it turned out,” he said.
“It’s was a relief because it’s now officially finished as a project.”
The book was “spun off” preparations for the Between the Crosses Exhibition, which Mr Clark and his wife Cate co-curated on the centenary of Gallipoli in April 2015 in Gunnedah.
“For the exhibition, what I wanted to do initially was to put right around the top of the display the names of everyone who had enlisted from Gunnedah and district,” Mr Clark said.
“It quickly became obvious there were too many to do that with and it also became obvious that there were people who had been killed who weren’t marked as being from the Gunnedah district or honoured for their death.
“I thought I would start a Facebook page to honour their life and commemorate their death on the 100th anniversary of their death and it sort of grew from there.”
Mr Clark said despite his best efforts, unfortunately, numerous profiles went to print without photos or as much detail as he would have liked.
“It’s as complete as the information is available. There were some fellows who there just wasn’t much on them at all. I would have liked to be able to write more on all of them,” he said.
“I will keep researching and trying to get photos for all these fellows if I can.
“And I actually started a database [in 2014/2015] of all the soldiers in Gunnedah and district who enlisted and survived. I will probably go back and do that as a personal project.”
There are currently only about 25 remaining copies of We are the Dead available for purchase. To purchase a copy of the book for $33 or provide information or photos on enlisted soldiers from World War I, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Cate Clark on 0408 425564.
To view the Facebook page, visit www.facebook.com/WeAreTheDeadGunnedahsGreatWar
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