In 2014 I commenced a voluntary project of researching and writing stories about men and women from this district who were all involved in the Great War.

Memorials around the area testify that many never made it back home.

This project could only have materialised with the very generous assistance from Ian and Wanda Dunnet who permitted publication and found space for these many stories in The Courier over the past four years to coincide with the 100th anniversary of World War One.

We are very fortunate and indeed it is extremely rare to have such an energetic couple operating an independent newspaper in our district coupled with a genuine passion of ensuring we maintain our local military history.

Their inspirational interest is a credit to them

These histories have all been compiled into one soft cover volume (Centenary of ANZAC) and again I have to sincerely thank Ian and Wanda and their staff for the tireless work in publishing this first issue.

Thankfully due to a grant and better than expected sale proceeds from the first issue the printers fees, artwork and associated costs have been covered.

A large number of these books were donated to more than 16 schools and public libraries as well as several other local public institutions.

There are still a few copies of the first issue remaining and can be purchased from the office of The Courier at 60 Maitland Street Narrabri or call 02 6792 1011.

This book has also been donated to the Narrabri and Wee Waa Public Libraries, the Mitchell Library in Sydney, the National Library of Australia in Canberra, the Australian War Memorial and the Parliamentary Library in Canberra.

This success has encouraged me to have a special second issue printed.

To achieve this, several local organisations stepped forward and provided very generous donations to cover production costs.

The second very limited edition will feature more colour images with additional articles and have an impressive embossed hard cover, dust cover, glossy pages and a special ribbon marker. Essentially they will not be for sale and most will be donated to public institutions, supporting businesses as well the Narrabri RSL sub-Branch for local school annual presentation nights etc.

I’d like to publicly thank the following who had faith in my project right from the start and provided the necessary finance to achieve a worthwhile local voluntary exercise.

These funds were forthcoming during a crippling drought which is now believed to be the worst in over 100 years.

Incidentally there were a few supportive ‘Mum and Dad’ businesses in town who wished to remain anonymous.

I therefore publicly acknowledge: Narrabri RSL sub-branch; Narrabri RSL Women’s Auxiliary; The Courier (Ian and Wanda Dunnet); former Member for Barwon – Kevin Humphries; Narrabri Shire Council; Rose Pest Control (Jason and Donna Rose).

Thank you sincerely for your faith in this wonderful voluntary project and I only wish my late great Dad (Ted Barry) could still be alive to witness such event.

All this work has been completed on a not-for-profit basis and I did not receive or expect to receive any remuneration whatsoever.

It has been a pleasure to undertake this type of project that had never been previously undertaken locally in over 100 years and I was determined to ensure that we never let the sacrifices of our local brothers and sisters fade into obscurity.

That in itself is payment enough. In addition I am happy that today’s generation will be a little bit more informed about ‘the war to end all wars.’

Richard Barry
Narrabri.

NB. Next project. I invite anyone to contact me about their personal experiences associated with corporal punishment – ex students and teachers. If you wish you can remain anonymous as I am keen to hear all about the good, the bad and the ugly.

You can also substitute false personal names and false schools to either protect the innocent or the guilty.

The school children in 2019 know nothing about corporal punishment from years gone by. (PO Box 43, Narrabri NSW 2390 or richyvon47@hotmail.com).