UNCOVERED: Warwick and District Historical Society publicity officer Ev Eastwell (left) and researcher Nola Mikkelsen at the World War I exhibition at Pringle Cottage Museum.
UNCOVERED: Warwick and District Historical Society publicity officer Ev Eastwell (left) and researcher Nola Mikkelsen at the World War I exhibition at Pringle Cottage Museum. Elyse Wurm

Lost stories of Warwick war heroes finally told

THE first enlistment of Aboriginal soldiers happened just down the road at Maryvale, while a small child was smuggled back by Australian soldiers from the field in World War I for a chance at life.

About 2000 soldiers from Warwick were shipped off to fight and from them came incredible stories of bravery and hardship.

Those who put their lives on the line included school principal Robert Hamilton and two brothers Norman and Cyril Clowes, who were the first entrants at Duntroon. Lt Norman Clowes finished his career as an aid to King George VI.

These stories have been uncovered for the Our Local War Heroes exhibition at Pringle Cottage in Warwick for the Southern Downs Heritage Festival.

Warwick and District Historical Society researcher Nola Mikkelsen said many soldiers would not speak about their ordeal when they returned home, so stories were sparse.

But the team has found more than 300 soldiers and their stories that residents can read about.

"When you see what they've done, you think how did they ever survive?" she said.

Former history teacher John Telfer helped compile stories for the exhibition, as he believes the spirit of the Anzac should never be forgotten.

"There are all these little stories about the bravery and the larrikinism, they didn't like the discipline of the British yet they fought like Trojans on the battlefield," he said.

"I try to humanise it and let them know they were people just like you and I, going off to war not knowing what they were in for."

The exhibition includes medals, letters and pictures.

It will open on Sunday at 11am and be available for viewing during museum opening hours until November.


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