Front cover of Greg Hirst’s self-published books My Motorcycling Life and My Motorcycling Life (Part 2)
Last year on Tuesday 6 June 2017, motorcycle activist and Brotherhood Christian Motorcycle Club senior member Greg Hirst passed away at the age of 64. His death was unexpected following complications from surgery. His funeral proceedings on Monday 19 June 2017 at Penrith Panthers Marquee, saw hundreds of motorcycle riders meet at Andrew Campbell Reserve in Prospect for a funeral processional ride along the M4 to Penrith to pay tribute to this Australian legend. (more…)
The First World War battlefields on the Western Front in France and Belgium were witness to an Australian story of great triumph and tragedy, of unimaginable losses to a young nation and an extraordinary part in the course of history. (more…)
The Battle of Beersheba took place on 31 October 1917 during the third Battle of Gaza in Palestine. It was a defining moment that demonstrated the success of Manoeuvre Warfare in the region, and the power of mounted troops to rapidly redefine the outcome of a battle. (more…)
Commuters in Sydney wearing masks during the influenza pandemic, 1919. Image: The Australian
A global pandemic reaches Australia
In November 1918, as peace was declared and the guns of the First World War fell silent, people across the world began to succumb in great numbers to a deadly disease. Caused by a particularly virulent strain of pneumonic influenza, the illness was notable for taking the lives of an unusually high number of otherwise young and healthy people.
Makeshift Pneumonic Influenza hospital, Melbourne, 1919. Image: Heritage Council of Victoria
Parramatta prepares, and the pandemic arrives
In January 1919, cases of the deadly pneumonic influenza pandemic sweeping the world were diagnosed in Australia, first in Melbourne and then in Sydney.
Motions of Condolence. Source: Minutes of the Meeting of Dundas Municipal Council, 2 April 1919
Loss and recovery in Parramatta
As the pneumonic influenza pandemic took hold in Parramatta during the first few months of 1919, the small Parramatta District Hospital was only able to admit a handful of influenza patients, so those ill with the disease began to be directed to Lidcombe State Hospital, or the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown.
Dundas Skyline Drive-in, c. 1950s (Source: www.drive-insdownunder.com.au)
Some previously well-known features of Parramatta’s urban landscape have, over the years, given way due to changes in taste or developments in technology. Here, we take a look at the stories behind five of the city’s vanished historic landmarks, and explore what has taken their place. (more…)
The First World War (1914-1918) and those involved with the conflict, are often remembered through a variety of monuments ranging from statues to plaques. (more…)
During the First World War, letter writing was the main form of communication between soldiers and their loved ones, this helped ease the pain of long term separation. Soldiers from Parramatta would write letters (more…)
Animals played a vital role during World War One, especially horses. Australia sent more than 136,000 Australian horses overseas to support and serve. The type of war horse that was favoured by the light horsemen in the campaign were originally from New South Wales, hence the sturdy, hardy breed became known as ‘Walers’. (more…)