Site de­tails war he­roes’ con­tri­bu­tions

Comment News (Armadale) - - Front Page - Jes­sica Nico

ALICE Maud Martin was just a reg­u­lar woman when she made a de­ci­sion that would change her life as she knew it.

Ms Martin was work­ing as a nurse at Perth Pub­lic Hospi­tal and the Dis­trict Hospi­tal of Meekatharra when she de­cided to en­list in World War I soon af­ter the an­nounce­ment Aus­tralia had joined the war ef­fort.

She tended to wounded and ill sol­diers in Egypt and France while serv­ing with the 1st Aus­tralian Gen­eral Hospi­tal (1AGH) and de­spite be­com­ing se­ri­ously ill her­self three times, con­tin­ued to serve un­til her resignation in March 1918, aged 29.

Ms Martin’s is one of more than 800 sto­ries brought to­gether in a new re­source de­tail­ing the brave and self­less con­tri­bu­tions men and women from the Ar­madale-Kelm­scott and Ser­pen­tine-Jar­rah­dale re­gions made in World War I.

Launched at Ar­madale Li­brary yesterday, the Birtwistle Wiki is the cre­ation of former City of Ar­madale mayor and Viet­nam vet­eran Lin­ton Reynolds, who was in­spired to col­late the sto­ries af­ter dis­cov­er­ing a dis­crep­ancy on the Ar­madale Sold­ers Memo­rial obelisk.

Ar­madale Mayor Henry Zelones said it had been a project years in the mak­ing.

“Through his re­search (Mr Reynolds) found that there were names on the memo­rial that ap­peared to not be­long to the dis­trict and many names were miss­ing that should have been on the memo­rial,” he said.

“A fi­nite end to the list of names was un­re­al­is­tic and a printed pub­li­ca­tion for over 400 en­tries would be ex­pen­sive and in­ad­e­quate to cap­ture all the en­lis­tees who might need to be be­lat­edly added.

“The an­swer would be to cre­ate an on­line ac­cess por­tal to re­search the sol­diers’ and nurses’ names and de­scen­dants of ser­vice peo­ple in World War I and add con­tent as more in­for­ma­tion be­came avail­able.

“With in­valu­able as­sis­tance from the Dig­i­tal Ser­vices Li­brar­ian at Birtwistle Li­brary, the BirtwistleWiki was cre­ated.”

He hoped it would be a re­source for the lo­cal com­mu­nity that would con­tinue to grow as more sto­ries and pho­tos were added.

“The BirtwistleWiki is com­pletely dig­i­tal and avail­able to any­one with ac­cess to the in­ter­net,” he said.

“The wiki is or­ganic in na­ture and the two-fold in­ten­tion is to have the wiki as a com­pre­hen­sive re­source and to en­cour­age re­searchers to add to (or cor­rect) the in­for­ma­tion avail­able.

“Pho­to­graphs give a visual con­nec­tion to the sol­dier or nurse but many images are miss­ing so do­na­tions are wel­come.”

Mr Reynolds is aim­ing to re­visit the West­ern Front next year to add more in­for­ma­tion for those who did not re­turn.

Viet­nam vet­eran Lin­ton Reynolds at yesterday’s launch of the BirtwistleWiki at Ar­madale Li­brary.

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