From the Outback to the Battlefront
South Australian Outback people are resourceful and generous contributors to communities, their families, businesses, the State economy and to the nation. It’s no different in times of war. Through this book we can begin to understand how men and women of the South Australian Outback contributed their services – and sometimes their lives for their country. Whether at home knitting socks for soldiers or raising stock for slaughter; whether meeting the need for horses or volunteering on the home front, people of the SA Outback played their part.
Through this book we can begin to understand how men and women of the South Australian Outback contributed their services – and sometimes their lives for their country. Whether at home knitting socks for soldiers or raising stock for slaughter; whether meeting the need for horses or volunteering on the home front, people of the SA Outback played their part. South Australian Outback people are resourceful and generous contributors to communities, their families, businesses, the State economy and to the nation and it’s no different in times of war.
In 2014 the Outback Communities Authority (OCA) asked acclaimed local historian, John Mannion, to shine a light on the history of those who enlisted from any of the 25 townships and settlements that constitute the Unincorporated Areas of South Australia. Some still exist, some do not, but these were places that thrived and produced and had newspapers and post offices and railway stations – all the things that built the rich fabric of the South Australian Outback. Towns such as Tarcoola, Farina and Radium Hill have come and gone but the history of their war effort needed to be preserved and honoured together with other towns, now reduced in population but proud of their heritage and their service to the nation.
John was able to uncover significant remnants of local history and gather stories about notable soldiers who served in all conflicts including the Boer War, the First and Second World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and more current excursions and peace keeping operations. He spent a lengthy period augmenting his personal knowledge of Outback history by searching written and web-based records before undertaking phone interviews, face-to-face meetings and site visits to glean as much detail as he could about each person and each community. Not everyone was a frontline soldier. An army marches on its feet and its stomach: thus cooks and bottlewashers, fettlers and farriers all played their part. Many bush enlistees were city-born including railway workers, postal clerks and jackaroos. On the home front, the Volunteer Defence Corps (Australia’s Home Guard) and the Women’s Land Army were opportunities for service, proudly undertaken. In WWII, a number of Aboriginal and European Australians ended up in Darwin defending our shores. Where records could be found, all are included.
This book is only the beginning. We know there may be misspellings, duplications and omissions that need to be addressed, but as John says: “the whole concept is well overdue and the task was significant and could never be complete”. We are proud that From the Outback to the Battlefront contributes to a growing body of knowledge about how South Australians have contributed to our war effort, but we also hope it will spur new research and unearth new stories to honour the people of the South Australian Outback who served their country, in whatever capacity.
This book covers the following, Andamooka, Beltana Region, Blinman, Bookabie, Coorabie, Fowlers Bay, Cockburn Region, Coober Pedy Region, Cook & Far West Region, Copley, Leigh Creek, Farina Region, Gawler Ranges, Port Augusta, Unincorporated Areas. Innamincka Region, Iron Knob Region, Kingoonya Region Koonibba & District, Lyndhurst Region, Mannahill Region, Marree Region, Olary Region, Oodnadatta, Marla Region, Penong Region, Pimba, Woomera Region, Radium Hill, Tarcoola, William Creek, Yunta, Koonamoore Region.
This book is a record of those who served from the outback areas of South Australia.
|30.5 × 21.8 × 1.24 cm