My cousin Olga died last October. You’d never have guessed she was 83.  She was aware that the end was coming and in her customary efficient way, organised as much as she could so that her passing would be a smooth process for everyone involved.

Before she died, she gave me a small carton stuffed with black and white photographs taken in the 1930s and 40s. Like many family photos from that era, snapped by novice photographers with unsophisticated cameras, they displayed children lost in a blur of movement or matronly ladies in dark frocks and large hats which completely overshadowed their faces. Nothing of particular interest.  

Memorial 01



My friend Robin is a Londonphile. Every couple of years, she and her husband head to this great city for the northern summer and over several months, feast on galleries, museums, concerts and the theatre not to mention parks and gardens. Robin is also a genealogist/family historian and an enthusiastic photographer.

A Cold Footed Mob

The cold footed mob:  A history of the 5th Australian Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company
by Tom Goode. Hesperian Press.  94p

You’d be excused for giving this slim A4 tome no more than a passing glance. The title and the antiquated illustration of a train and some Australian and English flags centred on a yellowing map is hardly attention grabbing.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. The cold footed mob is a surprising and interesting story about a little known unit of the AIF and its role in WWI. 

PRISONERS OF THE PAST compiled by Calliope Bridge, Celene Bridge, Angela Teague, Mark Chambers and Tom Hogarth. Hesperian Press, 2017.  286p.    

Book Review


When I read the publicity blub about this book, I was excited. I thought it was a compilation of the ‘mugshots’, (the original black and white photographs) of those persons admitted to Fremantle Prison in the opening years of the 20th century and now housed in the State Records Office of WA.

It wasn’t.

Book Review: The Black Anzacs: the AIF’s first trench raid on the Western Front by Doug Walsh. 270p. 

Available through the website:

There’s no guessing where family history will take you.

Sixteen years ago, Doug Walsh had no idea what would eventuate from his vague idea of writing his father’s biography.  Certainly not the production of a book titled The Black Anzacs.