Mud balls, freedom & Remembrance Day

When I was little, my older brother, John and I had a treehouse opposite the jackeroo’s quarters on the property. Actually, treehouse is probably too flash a name for what was basically four long timber boards nailed into the higher branches of a bottle tree. From our point of view, what that tree lacked in [...]

By | November 7th, 2019|Family history, Patriotism|0 Comments

“all men are equal in death”. The Australian War Memorial

The largest public display of Victoria Crosses in the world resides in the Hall of Valour in the Australian War memorial in Canberra. Here in the heart of the building directly below the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are 82 individual displays for the holder of each of the 82 Crosses won out of 100 [...]

By | April 1st, 2018|Patriotism|0 Comments

The grazier who was put in charge of the Australian Imperial Force.

“Such a man, could scarcely fail to be a hero to his men” - The grazier who became a Major General. Bull Ryrie was tough, an outgoing man of the Monaro who could ride like the wind as well as being a crack shot. Born into a grazing family, after attending the King’s School at Parramatta [...]

By | March 7th, 2018|Australian History, Patriotism|1 Comment

The last mounted infantry charge, Beersheba.

In the late afternoon of October 31, 1917 around 800 men of the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade looked from a ridge down across six kilometres of sloping ground towards Beersheba. Behind them were thousands of troops desperate for water and a never-ending desert, in front of them, the heavily fortified town of Beersheba. They [...]

By | November 29th, 2017|Inspiration, Patriotism|0 Comments

The Boer War. ‘Even if I wished to surrender, and I don’t, I am commanding Australians…’

In August 1900 during the Boer War in South Africa, Colonel Charles Hore commander at the Elands River Post received a request from Boer(Dutch-Afrikaner) general Jacobs Koos de la Rey to surrender. His reply: “Even if I wished to surrender, and I don’t, I am commanding Australians who would cut my throat if I accepted [...]

By | May 8th, 2017|Opinion, Patriotism|0 Comments

And then the floods come.

The outback has always evoked themes of struggle and survival, epitomised in tales of bush-rangers, drovers, rural women and lost children. Certainly any debate about National Identity usually gives consideration to rural Australian life, particularly as it is portrayed in painting, music, literature, film and most importantly, foods. To an extent rural Australia still helps [...]

By | October 16th, 2016|COUNTRY LIFE, MOTHER NATURE, Patriotism, Rural Affairs|0 Comments

OF Wattle and Daub Beginnings – The Great War

In state this new world Achilles, he of translucent glow rests, world weary: Oblivious to commanders. Those reticent masters of the bayonet charge, lauded yet by those similarly inclined. Ten miles beyond the sordid scope of battle, only Generals die in bed. Our Achilles, little known disparager of war, of wattle and daub beginnings. [...]

By | July 22nd, 2016|A WRITERS LIFE, Inspiration, Opinion, Patriotism, Poetry|0 Comments

From the Station archives: The homestead my great-grandfather built in the 1890s.

When my great-grandfather moved westward from the New England north-west region of Inverell in the early 1890s to our current property he built a homestead on one of two separate holdings. The property was called Mona and the original house was of mud-brick and cypress pine. This early building was made with the black soil mud found on the property with the bricks [...]

If you enjoy bush history …

 If you enjoy history ... Many of you know that all of my novels to date have relied heavily on the Alexander Family archives which date back over one hundred and twenty years and cover station life from the 1880s on. As you can imagine with such a rich resource my interest in history was [...]

By | February 25th, 2015|A WRITERS LIFE, COUNTRY LIFE, Inspiration, Patriotism|0 Comments

From the Station archives: My grandfather’s Great War experiences

A Dish of Wheat In the April of 1918 members of the 3rd Battalion 1st Division A.I.F were in action near the town of Strazelle, near the Belgium Woods, in the eastern area of the Western Front, France. Jim Sullivan from Castlevilla, Boomi and Fred Alexander of Murki (my grandfather), Boomi along with a Sergeant, [...]

By | September 21st, 2014|Inspiration, Patriotism|0 Comments
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