Veterans’ names recovered
An extensive project that took a Drummond Cove couple five years of dedication and effort has created an in-depth history recognising more than 600 service men and women from the Northampton area.
Elaine Chick, 68, began her heartfelt project in 2011 shortly after joining the Northampton RSL to find the names and stories behind service personnel from the Boer War to the Afghanistan War with connections to Northampton.
“I did it because when I went to the RSL, the photos hanging on the walls just had initials or nicknames and I didn’t know who they were and I thought that’s not good for people. We need to know who they are,” she said.
“I trudged through the photos on the wall and in the cemeteries and compiled a whole list of people and started researching.”
With the help of her husband Kevin Chick, 82, the two have spent five years extensively researching each individual so everyone was recorded.
“I did so many hours of work and of course with your research, you’re triple checking everything and you have to make sure everything is accurate,” Mrs Chick said.
“Although it drove me nuts, sometimes I enjoyed every minute of it and in some cases my husband would know who someone was, being a local himself so it was really helpful.
“My husband was extremely supportive of me.”
With their hard work and passion Mrs Chick wrote a book titled A Journey Back in Time, covering her findings, and all proceeds of its sale were donated to the Northampton RSL.
Northampton RSL president Bevan Suckling said he wanted to show Elaine and Kevin Chick the club’s appreciation of their hard work.
“Elaine started collating the information, got a passion for it and did an amazing job over the five years,” he said.
“We had the photos before but it was more just word-of-mouth information, but now people have the names, photos and histories of what they did, so it’s amazing.”
Mr Chick was a national serviceman prior the Vietnam War in his early 20s and was signed for six years, however, he never went to war.
“His cohorts from Northampton were involved in the Queen’s visit in the 50s in Perth where they were training horses and lining the streets for when she did her tour down St Georges Terrace,” Mrs Chick said.
Due to illness Mr and Mrs Chick were unable to continue with the project they poured so much love into over the years, but their work did not go unrecognised.
The two have been awarded certificates of appreciation from the Northampton RSL for comprehensive research of the service men and women from the Northampton district.
“I thoroughly enjoyed and it and love that they’ve appreciated it. They wouldn’t have been able to have the display they do now without this groundwork,” Mrs Chick said.
“They have a beautiful display up there now compared to what it was, with jumbled photos and names.”
Elaine and Kevin Chick with Bevan Suckling. The Chicks were recognised for their research project on service men and women.