Historian Margaret Clark is a prolific writer of local history, and recently she received what is a very rare honour.
Two of Margaret’s books, Postcards from the Front and Carmichael’s 1000, were presented to the NSW Parliamentary Library on Monday, October 15.
Margaret chatted with Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead at the Commemoration Diggers Ball in Wingham on September 29. As a result of the conversation Mr Bromhead met with Margaret at his Taree office on Thursday October 11 and was given the books.
“It was with great pleasure to present the books authored by local historian Margaret Clarke. The stories of our local servicemen will now have a special place in Australia’s oldest Parliament, ensuring their legacy lives on,” Mr Bromhead said.
The two books are connected in a roundabout way.
“The first book is based on the 200 postcards I found in the Wingham Museum written by one soldier home to his wife. He was a member of the 36th Battalion. Then I discovered there was no official history that had been written of that battalion,” Margaret explained.
“So I contacted the Army History Unit and they gave me a grant to go to Canberra and do my research. I spent a couple of weeks down at the Australian War Memorial in their research division reading the original documents from other men who had served in the 36th Battalion. Then I wrote the book for the history of the 36th Battalion.
The book on the history of the 36th Battalion is titled Carmichael’s 1000, and is named after Ambrose Carmichael, who became the NSW Minister for Public Instruction in 1911 and was responsible for the creation of the State Conservatorium of Music.
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“He was quite a guy,” Margaret said.
“He raised 1000 men; mainly they targeted the rifle clubs around the state, and that 1000 went into the formation of the 36th Battalion. He went with this battalion and served in France and was wounded twice.
“The reason why it went to the Parliamentary Library is because of the link to a Member of Parliament,” she said.
Postcards from the Front and Carmichael’s 1000 are both available for purchase at the Wingham Museum.