Warriors' Chapel: A Small Town and Great War

Author: Michael K. Cecil

ISBN 978-1-949756-60-9 (softcover)

366 pages

Those brave souls who are commemorated on the memorial board of the Anglican Church of St John the Baptist knew each other. In their small town, they attended school together, played football together, rowed boats together, practiced rifle shooting together, and attended church together. But their close community life would change in 1914. Some were struck with patriotism, eagerly volunteering to fight for King and Country at the earliest date. Others took longer to decide or waited to come of age. Most would see service overseas in their nation’s army, while a few served on the water and in the air. One remarkably served in combat in all three services. Men and women, their ages ranged from barely 18 to 50 years.

Some were destined for greatness, seemingly impervious to war, while others succumbed to ailments even before leaving Australia. Thirty-five would pay the ultimate sacrifice. Most of those were killed in action on the battlefield, some never to be found. Others suffered painful wounds and finally succumbed days or weeks later. A few contracted diseases that proved fatal, and two, far behind the front lines, were killed accidentally.

They are buried in the diversity of places where Australians found themselves on active service. The majority lie in France, some with no known grave, while others are buried in Belgium, Turkey and Egypt. Five are buried in England, most having survived the battlefield only to die later in an English hospital. Two of those who died of disease are buried in Australia.

They were all volunteers. These are their stories.


Michael K Cecil was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1955. Following graduation from Monash University, he has held various positions in both the public and private sectors, culminating in the position of Head of Military Heraldry and Technology at the Australian War Memorial until his retirement in 2010. Passionate about military history research, he has published twelve books, and numerous articles in Australian and international magazines. He was awarded a 'Certificate of Appreciation' by the Royal Australian Armoured Corps for his 'lengthy and significant contribution' to recording the history of the Corps. Michael is married to artist Krystii Melaine and lives near Spokane, Washington, USA. 

You can visit his official website at www.michaelkcecil.com.  

Type: books

Vendor: Michael Cecil

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