Monday, April 14, 2014

NSW Lancers

News from The RAHS eNewsletter March Issue 1 includes notice of this event.

Sunday 20 and 27 April 2014 - NSW Lancers Memorial Museum
A 1914 - 1918 Journey with the 1st Light Horse from Parramatta to Gallipoli, Beersheba and Palestine
A special exhibition featuring heritage listed items never before available to the public.

With a retired Lancer as a guide, you will follow the journey taken by men of the then NSW Lancers who enlisted en masse into the 1st Light Horse (AIF). Their service took them to Egypt, Gallipoli and, as part of Chauvel's ANZAC Mounted Division, to Beersheba, Jerusalem and Amman.

Experience something of what it would have been like to have accompanied them, through the personal diaries of Light Horsemen at both Gallipoli and Beersheba, official photos and personal photo albums and sketches, one of which was drawn as the Light Horseman was approaching ANZAC Cove from the sea. Look closely at one of the finest collections of Ottoman Army maps and field documents in Australia, original Light Horse uniforms, saddlery and equipment, early aerial reconnaissance photos and an internationally rare Bergman sub-machine, the forerunner of all sub-machine guns in the world today.

Venue: Lancer Barracks, mainland Australia's oldest, 2 Smith St, Parramatta
Time: 10am to 4pm each day
Cost: $7.50; concession/children  $5; families (2 adult, 2 child) $15
Facilities: Onsite parking; close to railway, bus and ferry; museum shop; toilets
Regrettably site is not wheel chair friendly

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Eryldene Celebration

The Society has been notified of the Eryldene Centenary House Warming  on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 April 2014 from 10am to 4pm. 

Eryldene will throw open its house and garden with a day of tours led by Waterhouse grandchildren. The Garden Cafe will be open and bookings are essential for High Teas on Sunday.  

For more details please visit

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trove Tuesday - Was he the youngest soldier?

Frederick Cecil Forsyth-Cheffins enlisted on 21 Jun 1915.
He was born on 26 April 1901.

Do the maths – that makes him 14 years and 2 months old when he enlisted.

This article in the Sydney Morning Herald claims he was the youngest NSW soldier at the front.

An entry in the SCEGS (Shore school) register.

He stated he was 16 years old on his attestation papers. 
His father was Captain F Forsyth-Cheffins, the attesting officer on many soldier’s service records.

Bugler Cheffins, 472, arrived at the Gallipoli Peninsula on 16 August 1915 and soon after this he was hospitalised with bronchitis and dysentery.

Before his 15th birthday, in mid-March 1916, he boarded a ship to return to Australia. His discharge (medically unfit) from the AIF on 13 July 1916 was well before he had reached the legal age to enlist.

Although Bugler Cheffins was born in Bathurst and lived in Northern NSW and Queensland, he is written up in our book because at the time of his enlistment, his parents lived in Gordon NSW (in Ku-ring-gai).
You will find many such soldiers in our volumes.

Frederick’s biography will be published in Volume 1 of our Rallying the Troops Anzac Centenary project.
We are excited that Dr Brendan Nelson will launch this first volume on Saturday 26 July 2014.

We welcome enquiries, comments, photos related to any soldiers with links to Ku-ring-gai. If you would like to join our research and writing team, please email

Watch this blog for more details of our launch and for your chance to pre-order the books.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter Activities

The latest edition of the National Trust eNewsletter details several events that may appeal to members.

You can view the newsletter here.

The National Trust Newsletter

Friday, April 4, 2014

A member blogs his stories.

During Seniors' Week several members attended a blogging session in which I talked about how we could use blogs to tell our stories.

A wonderful example of a blog that tells ancestor stories is written by our member, Alan Mewett. Alan's blog Who they were: family history has an interesting collection of stories of England, Immigration, South Australia and other topics.  These are illustrated with wonderful photos from Alan's collection.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April meeting changes

Out April General Meeting will be on the 2nd Saturday this month because of Easter.

The speaker named on our website, David Deasey is unable to make it.

So, on Saturday 12 April, Tony Lanarch-Jones will be talking to us about Australia and the Boer War.
Tony is the National Secretary of the National Boer War Memorial Association.

Over 16,000 troops were engaged in the Australian contingents and another 7,000 Australians fought in other colonial and irregular units. It is estimated that 1,000 Australians lost their lives in this war.

The meeting will be held in the Gordon Library Meeting room 1, next to our research rooms from 2pm.
All are welcome and the meeting will be followed by afternoon tea.

You can read more about the Boer War Memorial Association here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Oral History Seminar

News from The RAHS eNewsletter March Issue 1 includes notice of this event.

Saturday 5 April 2014 - Oral History Association NSW
Hear your community's voice: creating an oral history project
Listen to oral historians describe how they have created community oral history projects covering a local area, recreational fishing, a workplace and more. An open discussion will further illuminate how to plan and run projects, shape a collection, organise interviews,train volunteer interviewers and make interview information available.

Panel Co-ordinator Virginia Macleod has worked as a professional historian for nearly 20 years. Recently she has undertaken several commissioned oral history thematic projects, including two with a focus on migrant communities.

Pauline Curby co-ordinated an oral history project for Ryde City Council, during the 1900s. She will explain the background to this project, how it was organised, the training of volunteers and reflect on how such a project might be organised today.
              Talking Fish: Oral histories of fishing on the Murray Darling River System, State Library of NSW 2010-2011   [Photograph courtesy of Carol Hannon]

Jesse Stein will talk about how she got started with the NSW Government Printing Office oral history project: what she learned in the shaky early days, the unexpected consequences of snowball sampling. It became easier over time as she gained the employees' confidence and learned trade jargon.

Jodi Frawley interviewed fishers, indigenous communities, tourists and landholders, about their relationship with the Murray Darling Basin, their experiences of the river and its fish, and changes they have seen over the years. She will discuss the logistics and satisfactions of working on this environmental project Talking Fish in rural Australia.  

Time:  10 am - 1 pm (9.45 am registration)
Place: Dixson Room, First Floor, Mitchell Library, Macquarie Street Sydney
Cost:  $45 includes morning tea, Oral History NSW members $35  Bookings essential
Full details here.