Trove really is a one stop shop for researching those that served during WW1. Aside from a visit to the National Archives of Australia (NAA) website for service records, Trove is the place to go to find photos, books and newspaper articles. This is even more so the case thanks to a project to digitise newspapers of the 1914-1918 period for the lead up the 100th anniversary of WW1.
For Western Victorian researchers, newspapers that have appeared over the last 12 months, all from 1914-1918, include:
Kerang New Times
Port Fairy Gazette
Portland Observer and Normanby Advertiser
Swan Hill Guardian and Lake Boga Advocate
St Arnaud Mercury
The Ararat Advertiser
The Ballarat Courier
The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record
During WW1, these papers were full of war news, locals enlisting, send offs, letters homes, the work of locals to do their bit for the war effort and of course, the casualties.
Trove is a great for finding WW1 books and photos. You can search for an individual, a battalion or a battlefield and you are bound to find something to give you a little more information about your family member’s wartime experience . Photos held by repositories such as the Australian War Memorial are all cataloged at Trove. One search can find so much from many places.
As it’s Trove Tuesday, I have some WW1 treasures from one of my favourite papers The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record.
The first article, reported on the first Anzac Day on April 25, 1917 and how Casterton marked the occasion.
Following is a letter home by Norman Seymour to his mother in Casterton. He wrote of his brother James, and the pride he felt that James was at “the great landing at Gallipoli”. This is a great example of how useful these letters are. Norman wrote of many men from the local district including Hector Patterson and his wounds.
It is a lovely letter, as many of them were, and it makes you wonder if a 21-year-old man today could write home to his mother in the same way. I also love his closing sentence. If you know Casterton, you will know exactly what he means.
Our Soldiers. (1915, September 16). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4 Edition: Bi-Weekly. Retrieved April 23, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74766366
I checked the NAA and brother James Seymour did come home, but only two months after the publishing of Norman’s letter. He developed enteritis in September 1915, was hospitalised and sent home in November.
Norman Edward Seymour served with the 3rd Light Horse and did make it to Gallipoli on October 8, 1915. In October 1917 he developed septic sores and that led to his return home in December that year.
When I finally get my post finished for the ANZAC Day Blog Challenge,(Anzac Day 2014 the way I’m going) you will see more examples of how Trove can enhance the story of your WW1 hero.