Grace Masselos and Alan Clark at the book launch.
100 years on from the Waratah MarchA NEW picture book which vividly depictsKiama duringWorld War I was launched on Tuesday night.
Kiama resident Grace Masselosrecently self-published the book, entitled Annabel-Louise and the Kiama Waratah Marchers of World War I.
The book, whichMasselos released in accordance with Anzac Day, was launched at Kiama Library.
Masselos said she became interested in the Waratah Marchafter reading Nowra historian Alan Clark’s work on the topic.
In 1994, Clark published a 60-page book on the march.
A total of50 volunteers began their walk from Nowra to Sydney in November 1915, known as the Waratah March.
Gathering military recruits along the way to fight in World War I, the march stopped at Berry, Kiama, Albion Park, Dapto, Wollongong and Wollongong’s northern suburbs before heading to Sutherland, Hurstville and Kogarah.
An estimated 120 men had joined the Waratah March when it arrived in Sydney three weeks after leaving Nowra.
The Waratah March was one of about 10 recruitment marches that took place in 1915 and 1916, mainly starting out in country NSW, to recruit men for service after losses suffered at Gallipoli.
Masselos has a PhD in early childhood/child development, and formerly taught children’s literature.
Former Kiama resident, artist John Cornwell provided the illustrations.
“I wrote this picture book for young people from the age of11-years-old-plus, with emphasis on family life and community support at such times,” she said.
“This is a story about an 11-year-old girl calledAnnabel-Louise.
“She liveswith her parents, brother Bill and uncle John in a cottage in Collins Street in Kiama.
“The family is fictitious, but the facts are real. I got that from research, and Alan’s book.
“In this book, we read how the Waratah Marchers responded to the call, and how it affectedAnnabel-Louise and her family.
“I wanted to highlight the families rather than just the soldiers.
“The bravery of those left behind is very important.”
Copies of the book are $10 each. Phone 4232 2240 to purchase a copy.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward was among those who attended the launch, andBrian Weir was the MC at the event.
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