Charles Davis brings the spirit of soldiers back to life

COMMEMORATION: Charles Davis has researched Highlands WWI honour rolls and created a website with information on the soldiers. Photo: Lauren Strode

COMMEMORATION: Charles Davis has researched Highlands WWI honour rolls and created a website with information on the soldiers. Photo: Lauren Strode

It all started with the story of Charles Davis’ family history.

When he found out his great uncle had died at Gallipoli, it sparked a desire for Mr Davis to learn more about his family’s military history.

It has since become much bigger than just one family.

“I suppose it gave me a desire to resurrect peoples’ memories,” he said.

Mr Davis now researches WWI honour rolls and has created a website where he records information about the servicemen and women listed on those honour rolls.

He first started the project a few years ago when he began to research the Rockdale honour roll.

From the 900 names he originally found, Mr Davis ended up with about 3000 through different connections he was able to uncover.

He moved to the Highlands in April this year and decided to continue his work.

Since then he has recorded information on close to 400 servicemen and women from the Southern Highlands including the towns of Robertson, Burrawang, Glenquarry and Bundanoon.

Mr Davis said he planned to continue his work and add more towns from the Southern Highlands to his website.

With each honour roll, Mr Davis takes each name and tries to get as much digitised information as he can.

He has used websites such as the National Archives of Australia as well as books and memorabilia to complete his work.

Some of the information on the soldiers includes Australian War Memorial photos, Red Cross files, medal commemorations and news articles.

“Quite often  I would find a letter or some information about the serviceman or woman and I’ve been able to put that into the website as well.

“It’s all in the spirit of commemoration.

Mr Davis’ website is also hosted by the NSW State Library War Memorials Register under the Family Historians and Researchers tab.

It is called Australia WWI Honour Rolls.

Visit https://sites.google.com/site/australiaww1honourrolls to learn more about Southern Highlands soldiers who served in WWI. Remembrance Day is held each year on November 11 to commemorate the end of WWI.

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