I'm working with a team at Ku-ring-gai Historical Society on a project to research and publish biographies of the Killed in Action soldiers, decorated soldiers and nurses who are named on memorials in the Ku-ring-gai area.
A huge task but we are a great and enthusiastic team that has pretty much already 'given names to' the surnames and initials on the memorials and are now collating the research.
We are about to seek volunteers to help us finish the research and start writing the bios.
It's great to brush up on my research skills and we are learning a lot from each other - it's surprising how different our research techniques are.
It's rewarding work but also very sad when you come across articles such as these two.
One is a letter (transcript as the newsprint was too long and difficult to read) written from Leonard Wykeham Hesketh to his mother in Pymble on 29 July 1916. The content is disturbing enough as it is a pretty descriptive picture of what many of our soldiers were living (and dying) in. It is made more sad when you know that Len died on 20 August 1916.
The second is the account of the death by drowning of the Hesketh's only remaining son (Len's brother) in 1921 at only 20 years of age.
I chose this soldier to research more deeply not just because he was KIA but because my Nanna's cousin, and bridesmaid married Athol Leonard Hesketh. I have not found a relationship (yet) between the two men.