Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Sunday, August 17, 2014

They Gave Their Utmost

We have just finished binding They Gave Their Utmost: World War I for Louie Riggall, Alice Mitchell and Annie Whitelaw. This is a joint effort between Stratford and District Historical Society and Maffra and District Historical Society.

One of the most exciting things is that, while preparing this book, we were fortunate that a member of Miss Mitchell's family was able to give us a copy of a photograph of her when she was young.

This is Miss Alice Mitchell of Stratford, aged 22. It was at this time that she said goodbye to three brothers and young man who she was "very fond of" - we are now told there was no formal engagement. All four were killed in action. We did not until now know the name of Miss Mitchell's friend - it was Herb Peters.

The book will be available on Tuesdays at the Museum. The assistance of Miss Mitchell's family in piecing this together has been very much appreciated.

Louie Riggall was a Red Cross volunteer from Tinamba, who died on service in France in 1918. Annie Whitelaw, from Briagolong, sent six sons to war, three were killed in action and one died a short time after his return. Her headstone in the Briagolong cemetery records her loss.

The books, which are 44 pages, comb bound, sell at $12 plus $3.50 package and post.

Monday, August 04, 2014

WWI Declared

Today, as we recognise the centenary of the declaration of WWI, we remember all the men from Stratford and the surrounding area who served.

The first man from Stratford to be lost in the war was Pvt William Mitchell, who enlisted on 18 September 1914, and was killed in action at the battle for The Nek on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 7 August 1915.

William then lost two more brothers, Alfred and Sidney, at the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

The Society is currently working with Maffra and District Historical Society to publish a small book that recognises the work of their sister, Alice Mitchell, for the Red Cross.