Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Coburg State School 484 Soldiers’ Book

Image courtesy Coburg Historical Society.

The Coburg State School 484 Soldiers’ Book is a treasure trove of information. It was compiled in November 1922, the unnamed compiler regretting that he was not able to begin the task any earlier. He wrote:
I found that the cork had been out of the bottle too long and that all of the “fizz” had gone. Very few people could be got to take an interest in the work, and the soldier himself could not be “bothered” or did not, to his credit, wish to “make a song” of what he had done.  
The compiler goes on to say that he had 222 names on his list and he estimates that he managed to locate about 75%  of them, not bad going given the late start.   

The book is handwritten and many entries include photographs. All contain information supplied by the soldier or more likely his ‘doting’ family. There is a brief summary of the school’s war effort, plus several contemporary hand-drawn plans of the school and some photographs. There is also a plan (with names) of the Memorial Garden planted in the grounds of the Infants School in 1919. There is an index at the back of the book. There is also a more comprehensive index available for use by researchers, along with a fascimile copy of the book, both available for use at the Bluestone Cottage Museum, 82 Bell Street, Coburg. (First Sunday of each month from 2 to 4.30pm).


  1. Wow, a treasure indeed! And photos!

  2. It is indeed. Anyone who is researching WW1 soldiers with Coburg connections should check it out.

  3. I'm working on that now. Will publish something soon!

  4. I am working on the family history, Wilson, Walter Roy, Signaller, #2476 was in the care of my grate grand parents, John Charles Wilson and Sarah Wilson, from what I have found he was a ward of the state.

    were can I get a copy of this book?

  5. Hi Brian. The Coburg State School Soldiers Book is now available online through the Moreland City Libraries Local History Catalogue, so you can download it from there. Walter Wilson's entry is very short, unfortunately. Maybe that's because he was a ward of the state and not much was known. Would you be willing to provide a little more information on Walter's early life so I can fill in some of the gaps?
    By the way, the Soldiers' Book is worth looking at for the general background on the school, even if there's very little on Walter himself.