HISTORY BUFF: Roslyn Stemmler with son Kaelin at a previous Wallumbilla service.
HISTORY BUFF: Roslyn Stemmler with son Kaelin at a previous Wallumbilla service. Filecontributed

History mission to honour Wallumbilla soldiers

A VOYAGE of discovery into her own family history led historian Roslyn Stemmler to shed light on the lives of Wallumbilla's First World War soldiers.

The school teacher, who grew up in the region, was shocked to find there was little recorded about the men and their lives, with some names even missing from local records.

Four-and-a-half years of research and a lifetime of interest in history has culminated in the creation of Ms Stemmler's two volume book, Boys from the Bush - Wallumbilla in the Great War.

While writing the book she discovered 57 names missing from the Wallumbilla Hall memorial board but has since found six more unrecorded names and there could be up to 20 more.

She spent months searching through old archives, newspaper articles and making contact with families to unlock the lid of the past and pay tribute to the sacrifices of a generation.

This year marks 100 years since the landing of the Anzacs at Gallipoli and Ms Stemmler will launch her book to coincide with the anniversary, at a special Anzac day launch at 6pm at Wallumbilla Hall.

"This work profiles the lives of 136 individuals and unveils their stories of service and sacrifice," Ms Stemmler said.

"Over 200 soldier descendants contributed information, some from other countries, and all were convinced it was a project long overdue."

The scribe said it was vital to capture history.

"Why should only the footballers and politicians be the only ones whose lives are recorded?" she said.

Boys from the Bush

  • Young Kenny McLeod of Wallumbilla went ashore late the first day and scurried under fire up Shrapnel Gully to Quinn's Post. Within three days he was dead
  • Charlie Macfarlane was mortally wounded at his brother's side and died on a hospital ship on his way back to Egypt
  • Somewhere between a fifth and a quarter of the population of the Wallumbilla district (Wallumbilla, Chadford, Raslie and Pickanjinnie) ultimately enlisted in the Great War

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