Ku-ring-gai Historical Society Inc
incorporating the
Ku-ring-gai Family History Centre

Rallying the Troops: A World War I Commemoration

Close to 1800 men and women with links to Ku-ring-gai served in World War I.  They came from all walks of life, from labourers to university lecturers.  Their origins were diverse, not only from the immediate locality but also from other parts of New South Wales, from other states and from other countries.

Their achievements were many: Over 340 were recommended for a decoration with nearly 170 receiving awards. These ranged from a Mention in Despatches to the Victoria Cross, the highest honour of all, received by Major Blair Wark, VC DSO.    Their losses were great: 300 were killed or died of wounds or disease and the health of many survivors was compromised. But what all did for their nation is monumental.

Initially 1300 names were known from the many memorials throughout Ku-ring-gai but subsequent research and publicity have revealed nearly 500 additional veterans.

All volumes in this series have been researched and written by members and associates of Ku-ring-gai Historical Society.

Rallying the Troops Vol I

Volume 1


Volume I (432 pages), with a foreword by Dr Brendan Nelson, contains the war stories of those with names beginning A to F, approximately one quarter of all those who volunteered.  It also includes chapters on Ku-ring-gai as it was at the outbreak of war, on recruiting, enlistment, the rifle clubs, pre-war training and the early battles in which our veterans were involved, information on our local memorials and a guide to the memorials and cemeteries overseas where our dead are commemorated.

Read A Review 

Rallying the Troops Vol II

Volume II

Volume II (414 pages) contains a foreword by Major General Gordon Maitland AO, OBE RFD ED (Ret’d), a distinguished military historian and doyen of the veteran community. This volume contains biographical entries for Ku-ring-gai veterans with names beginning G to K. Other chapters include the extensive training undergone both in Australia and overseas, the Engineer Officers Training School at Roseville that attracted students from all over Australia, and our veterans’ participation in the major campaigns and battles in the Middle East, and on the Western Front at Fromelles, Pozières, Mouquet Farm and Bullecourt.

Rallying the Troops Vol III

Volume III

Volume III (653 pages) has a foreword by Major General The Honourable Justice Paul Brereton AM RFD, Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW and distinguished Army Reservist. In addition to biographical entries for names beginning L to R, this volume contains chapters on the 1917 battles of Messines and Third Ypres (which includes Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde and the disastrous Passchendaele), and on Edgeworth David and the tunnelling companies. Supportive chapters include casualty clearance from the battlefield, medical issues, doctors and nurses, chaplains, the Red Cross and other volunteer organisations both overseas and in Australia.  Read a Review of Volumes II and III

Rallying the Troops Vol III

Volume IV

Volume IV (680 pages) has a foreword by His Excellency, the Governor of NSW, General The Honourable David Hurley AC, DSC (ret’d), and tells the war stories of over 430 veterans with surnames S to Z, including Ku-ring-gai’s only recipient of the Victoria Cross, Major Blair Wark VC DSO.  There are chapters on the main battles of 1918, the German spring offensive and the Allies’ counter offensive that ultimately led to victory. Other chapters outline the Diggers’ lives away from the front and how, on the home front, Ku-ring-gai residents were prominent in organisations supporting the war effort. But at home there was also disquiet, distrust of the Germans resident in the area, to the extent that the press renamed Turramurra as Hunamurra. Post war, chapters tell of support for the returned men and women with re-education, medical and financial assistance through schemes such as soldier settlement and war service homes, and the ongoing concern by Legacy for the welfare of veterans and their families.  Read a Review


The volumes have countless photographs and contain appendices including the Australian military structure in World War I, an illustrated glossary of terms, honours and awards, lists of those who lost their lives and where they are buried or commemorated, the decorated and a list of military abbreviations. A separate appendix lists the names of all WWI Ku-ring-gai veterans. You may see that list on this website.

Each volume is indexed.

Table of Contents for Volume I
Index to Volume I
Table of Contents for Volume II
Index to Volume II
Table of Contents for Volume III
Index to Volume III
Table of Contents for Volume IV
Index to Volume IV
Veterans mentioned in Volumes I, II, III and IV
List of those who gave their lives: where overseas they are buried or commemorated
List of women known to have served overseas as Nurses or VADS
List of those who were decorated

The books may be purchased at the following prices:

Volume I:      $40
Volume II:     $35 ($30 if already purchased Volume I)
Both Volumes I & II: $70

Volume III:     $50   

Volume IV:    $35  *if you have purchased another volume you may be entitled to a discount.  Contact us to enquire.

P&P within Australia is: $15 per book

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