Thursday, 23 February 2012

Genealogy notes 22 Feb 2012 - Final day of Darwin battlefield tour

The last week has gone very quickly although we have been kept very busy on the War Comes to Australia tour organised by Unlock the Past in collaboration with Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours. This last day is basically breakfast and then transfers out to the airport although a number of people seem to be staying on to do other things in the Territory.

It was also a last chance to say goodbye to new friends and swap contact details. I was particularly looking forward to going down to breakfast as I had given Brad Manera my uncle's WW2 kidney dish to look at overnight. I wanted to know if this was a common item that every soldier brought back or something more unique. Mum had said that my uncle used it to eat out of but it didn't really seem big enough for that.

I was very excited when Brad confirmed it was uncommon and that it appeared to be either Italian or French in origin. As my uncle had engraved the various places he had been to in the war along with dates and various drawings and symbols this made it even more unique. I am now more than ever determined to research his war service and he will be my ANZAC day blog this year so I have a bit of time. Also when I go to Brisbane in June I will ask Mum about his photo albums as I remember seeing WW2 photos amongst Mum's albums. Brad and I will keep in touch about our findings.

I will be doing an overview blog which will appear on my website but just to wrap up this daily blog, I have found the tour really enjoyable and interesting. Not only that it has further awakened my academic interests which have been a bit dormant since I finished my Masters back in the late 90s. While on the UTP genealogy cruise last November a friend asked when was I going to do my PhD as it is on my list of things to do when retired. My response was I hadn't found a topic yet (you have to be pretty passionate about something for a PhD) and my interests have moved on since I did my Masters on Female Philanthropy in Colonial Queensland. I suspect that I really should do another degree or post graduate degree to get back into research before plunging into a PhD. I should probably move house too as that is disruptive and time consuming!

Would I do another battlefield tour? Without hesitation, especially if it had a personal connection to our own families. I'd like to thank again Unlock the Past and Mat McLachlan for giving me the opportunity to be part of the tour.

On Saturday there is the Unlock the Past Family History Seminar with the Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory and the Northern Territory Library (being held at the Library) so stay tuned for a report on that. Rosemary Kopittke and I are each giving three talks and it should be a great day.

1 comment:

  1. I've just caught up on your last posts as I had a woeful internet connection for a few days. Thanks for sharing your experiences - you have made me wish I was there with you.