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Australia is now my home following a childhood in Yorkshire which revolved around horses. I studied in Wales and have taught Science at High Schools and Horse Management at TAFE colleges (Technical and Further Education) in NSW. For close to ten years I worked with The Cicerone Project, an agricultural research project. All our results are written up in a special issue of the international journal Animal Production Science, published in 2013 (Volume 53, Issues 7-8, pages 593-868)

Now retired, I teach a Writing Your Life course at the local chapter of the University of the Third Age (U3A).

I have developed a love of history but  was told by a history academic that, because I was science trained, I wouldn’t know how to research or write history… what a  perfect challenge to throw at a lass from Yorkshire!

My research and writing interests include:

Military History, in particular the 2/20 Battalion and 8th Division in Singapore and Malaya in the Second World War

Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), the Ferry Pilots in WWII

Australian Colonial History

Writing Memoir

Family History

 

My Facebook pages is:-

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pounding-Along-to-Singapore-a-history-of-220th-Battalion-AIF/344892488956481

 

My books are:
Pounding Along to Singapore, a history of the 2/20 Battalion AIF“, available from me via this web site

eBooks:

“The Buffalo and Crocodile Hunters of the Northern Territory”

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/503752

From Baron to Battler, the story of Dr CUD Schrader of Walcha, 1860-1900

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/129058

The Schrader Letters, 1871-1896

https://www.smashword.com/books/view/109893

Comments
  1. Your site is the best way to go. My webpage on Tom FOSTER (2/20 Bn) which relates his escape from Malaya and his internment by the Japs has attracted much correspondence arising from Google Search hits, and I am sure you will do the same. See: http://www.strong-family.org/foster/chapter_13.html#thomas

    Best of luck.
    Phil

  2. Craig says:

    Hi there. I’m very interested in your Facebook Post about the Lewis brothers as they are mentioned in some detail (along with the experiences of the 2/20th in Malaya/Singapore) in my own family history book – In the Shadow of Feathertop – which is due to be published in a few months. I already have a copy of the movie you mentioned but wonder if you have any further information, or especially pictures, of any of the Lewis brothers? Or if you are in touch with any of their family?

    • cagaden says:

      Hello Craig
      I’m sorry but I have no more specific information about these brothers. All I can suggest is you follow up all the links I suggest on my WordPress page about ‘Researching your 8th Division soldier’. Attestation papers are useful as they are specific to the soldier. Things like the unit diary may be of use but you have to trawl through the entry for every day (or a name search on my diary transcriptions). Officers tend to be mentioned by name, ‘other ranks’ are clumped together and are often not specifically named. There is good info about the battalion as a whole, not about a specific person unless you ask round the family and see if letters or memorabilia survive.
      All the best with your research
      Caroline

      • Craig says:

        Thank you. Yes I’ve reviewed war service files and the unit diaries. For Wallace (Wally) Lewis (and the story of the unit’s experiences) the book “Hells Heroes” by Roger Maynard is also very useful.
        thanks
        Craig

  3. Jenni Urquhart says:

    I am interested in the story of th 2/20 as my Grandfather was part of this battalion. His record says he died on 9/2/1942 in Malay. Am I likely to learn more in your book?

    • Craig says:

      Hi Jenni – I’m not sure if you’re asking about my book or Caroline’s! In my case, no it’s unlikely that your grandfather is mentioned in my book (what was his name?).

    • cagaden says:

      Hello Jenni
      Sorry for delay in replying, I have been away for several weeks.
      Your Grandfather would have died in the fighting on the Island, so the first 8 chapters of my book would be of interest for you as they will give you information about the 2/20 training in NSW, on the ship sailing to Malaya, their time in Malaya preparing, the fighting on the mainland and the fighting on the island.
      As he was KIA prior to the fall of SIngapore, the later chapters won’t be so relevant. However the letters from home do give an insight into what was happening in Sydney, so it’s a bit of a social history of the time.
      If you look at my article on this website on how to research your 8th Division soldier, it will help you find his attestation papers and so on. There are also transcriptions of some of the War Diary which will help with what the troops were doing.
      Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with.
      All the best
      Caroline

  4. Alfred Stewart says:

    When I followed a link to ‘The Gaden Buffalo and Crocodile Hunters of the Northern Territory’ I was forwarded to your site. Is this article somewhere on your site, and is there a link to it?
    Thanks
    Alf

  5. cagaden says:

    Hello Alf
    The updated page is back!
    Hope you find it of interest
    Caroline

  6. Alfred Stewart says:

    Hi Caroline

    Thanks very much for reloading the page. I will be very interested to read your document.

    My interest is because Harry Stewart was my father and, as you know, he was in the camp on the Mary River in 1934 when the shooting incident occurred. He was in the NT from about 1925 until after the war in 1945.

    You might also be interested to know that during my research into my father’s time in the NT I managed to make contact with Bill Jennings’ niece who also has an interest in it all.

    Is there a way to send you a private message through this page or your Facebook page?

    Alf

  7. Cheryl says:

    Hi my grandfather was Norbert Leo Hogan he was in the 2/20th and was in Changi would there be any reference to him in your book. He passed away in 1960 after suffering for years from the after effects of his imprisonment.He could never spoke of his time in Changi.

    • cagaden says:

      Hello Cheryl
      I’m sorry but your grandfather does not receive a specific mention in my book….if he was not an officer he is unlikely to be mentioned by name within the Battalion’s War diary as O/Rs were noted by how many marched in or out of the camps, generally not by specific name.

      What I do in PA2S is cover the Battalion from inception to post-war using family letters as the time line… they give a bit of a social history of Sydney at the time.

      There are entries from the Battalion’s War Diary and Routine orders, newspapers of the day as well as other research, several years of it!, to give what I hope is a comprehensive account of what the men were up to and experiencing…

      The book contains 15 chapters, with the early ones covering training, the trip to Singapore, training within the various camps in Malaya, the fighting, the surrender and about 4 covering the POW period, including the railway, and the last covers some of the issues faced when the men returned to Australia.

      It depends on what you are looking for, your grandfather may not be specifically mentioned by name in the book but you may get an idea of what the troops were doing in the lead up to becoming a POW, some idea of their treatment and the post war unrecognised PTSD.

      If you check out the earlier entries of my Facebook page, you’ll find transcriptions of some months of the Battalions’ War Diary (an ongoing project). There is also a partial transcription of the Proudford diary (still ongoing), he was a POW in Changi, mainly the hospital, throughout the war so you may glean more about that particular POW camp.

      And check out my website for ideas on researching an individual soldier…. there is lots of information at the DVA Nominal roll to get his Service number, then go to the Australian War Memorial and the National Archives.

      Good luck with your research and if I can help further, please get back to me.

      Season’s greetings
      Caroline

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