Lithgow & District Family History Society Inc.

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ANZAC Cemetery Walk 26 Apr 2015

When Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith from the 3rd Battalion retrieved a pine cone from the site of a battle on the Gallipoli Peninsula, his action was to have repercussions that would last for many years. The pine trees had been cut down by the Turks, and their branches used to cover their trenches in an area that was renamed Lone Pine by the Anzacs. The assault on the trenches at Lone Pine was one of the costliest battles fought by the AIF during the Anzac Campaign resulting in over 2,000 Australian Casualties. Private Smith sent the pine cone home to his mother (Mrs McMullen) who had lost another son in the war. Mrs McMullen planted seeds from the pine cone in 1928 and grew two trees. One was presented to her home town of Inverell, and the other was planted at the Australian War Memorial in 1934. 

Seedlings from this tree have been propagated by the Yarralumla Nursery for many years and made available to schools and community organisations. One of these seedlings will be planted in the Lithgow (Bowenfels) Cemetery on Sunday 26th April 2015 by the members of the Lithgow & District Family History Society. A plaque mounted on a rock nearby will commemorate the service of those men and women from this district who served in the Great War 1914-1918. 

The ceremony will be held at the conclusion of the annual Anzac Cemetery Walk which will commence at 10 a.m. This year the graves of 11 more returned servicemen will be visited and a short history of each person's military service will be told and a poppy and card laid on the grave as a tribute to their service. Members of the public who wish to attend are invited to assemble in the car park at the Lithgow Cemetery at 10 a.m. for morning tea. Anzac biscuits will be provided but please bring your own tea or coffee. An invitation is extended to anyone who would like to lay a wreath at the conclusion of the official ceremony. Enquiries may be directed to Helen Taylor on 02 6355 7231.

Poppies for Anzac 100

An urgent call is issued to local people to knit and crochet red poppies for Anzac Day on 25 April for display in the Lithgow Library and Lithgow Gallery Lane. "Anzac 100", the new Gallery Lane exhibition, was inspired by the Commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac and the Lithgow & District Family History Society's new book 'A Long March from Lithgow'. The Lithgow Tidy Towns is combining with the Family History Society to honour the 1307 local men and women who enlisted and who served 'God, King and country' in World War I, and whose names and stories are recorded in the book. But there were many more unnamed local people who enlisted but whose names and stories were not known when the book was published and go well beyond 1307. "Many poppies will mean a bigger and better display", said Mrs Helen Taylor author of 'A Long March from Lithgow'. The exhibition will be mounted in the gardens in Gallery Lane which runs between Main Street and Woolworth's, between 18th April and 27 April although there will room left for more poppies. The Flanders Poppy has become the traditional emblem of remembrance for World War I. Lithgow Tidy Towns and the Lithgow & District Family History Society, Beehive Recreation Centre and their friends are knitting or crocheting red poppies which will be the focus of the display. The plan is to have at least 1307 poppies on display. We are seeking assistance from people who can knit or crochet poppies and donate them for the display. The patterns are available from the LDFHS Resource Centre on corner of Tank & Donald Streets, on the Society's Facebook page, the City Library, the Beehive Recreative Centre or from Alena at 80 Main Street which also has stocks of red wool at $2.75 skein and a free pattern. Finished poppies can be left at the Society, Alena, Lithgow Library & Learning Centre or at the Beehive Recreative Centre before 18th April. Further details can be obtained by contacting Lithgow & District Family History Society Inc in person at the Resource Centre on Fridays between 10am and 4 pm or on Tuesday nights between 6 and 9 pm or by phone on 02 6353 1089 during these hours, by email or through their facebook page. Lithgow Tidy Towns contact is Kathleen Compton, phone 0418 416 017.

Launch of our new publication


Our latest book, A Long March from Lithgow was launched on 9th November 2014 at Club Lithgow (Lithgow Bowling Club). 

About 150 people gathered for the launch and the MC duties were carried out by Mr Phil Cram a former manager of the Emirates Resort in the Wolgan Valley and now the owner of Stoke House Bed & Breakfast and Teapots Café at Carcoar.

The society’s President Eleanor Martin welcomed everyone and spoke about the society before asking the MC to start the program.

Guest speakers were The Honourable John Cobb, Federal Member for Calare, Mr Paul Toole State Member for Bathurst and Minister for Local Government, Helen Taylor author of the book and Mr Denis Chamberlain of Bathurst, a military historian who launched the book.

Performances were carried out by local artists Martin Doherty and Leigh Birkett who had added music to the poem ‘Marching Feet’ written by Society member Cecily McCarten.  Jim Low from the Blue Mountains then sang a song that he had written about a WW1 soldier, Private William Shirley, and called ‘The Broken Soldier’.

Mr Cobb spoke about the impact WW1 had on the local area and also about the amount of work and research that had gone into the book.

Mr Toole spoke about the importance of preserving the history of these men and women and of educating young people of today about the sacrifices that were made.

Helen Taylor spoke about the War Hero Project that had lead to the writing of the book ‘A Long March from Lithgow’ which contains 673 pages of biographies of 1307 men and women who served in WW1. The information was taken from their service records and from many other sources and includes photos, newspaper clippings and memorabilia as well as other local history. Helen also thanked the members of the Lithgow & District Family History Society for their help and support during the project.

The Last Post was very ably played on the bugle by Bill Childs from the Lithgow City Band and the Ode of Remembrance was read by Amy Muir representing Lithgow High School and Brody McLean representing St Stanislaus College at Bathurst. Denis Chamberlin then declared the book to be officially launched.

Copies of the book can be purchased from our Resource Centre on the corner of Tank & Donald Street, Lithgow on Tuesday nights from 6pm to 9pm or Fridays from 10am to 4pm. The cost is $60. An order form can be downloaded  here and the postage is $13.40. Copies are also available at the Lithgow Tourist Centre and at the West End Newsagency in Lithgow. 

Marching Feet CD.jpg (1307841 bytes)Marching Feet

The words of this song have been taken from a beautiful poem by Cecily McCarten. It was recorded at Brays Lane Studios, Wallerawang NSW by Martin Doherty and Leigh Birkett. Marching Feet has been created at the request of the Lithgow & District Family History Society Inc. to celebrate the launch of the book A Long March from Lithgow by Helen Taylor. It was sung live by Martin and Leigh at the launch and the CD is available for purchase from our rooms. Photos taken during the launch are on our Facebook page.


Resource centre & meeting rooms

Our resource centre/library and meeting rooms are in the Ewen Smith Memorial Hall situated on the corner of Tank & Donald/Guy Sts in Lithgow NSW. 

Street view on Google maps:


Phone number (during opening hours)

+61 (02) 6353 1089


Postal Inquiries

Please send all postal inquiries to:

The Secretary


PO Box 516

Lithgow 2790

(Please include a large SAE)


Opening hours

Tuesday 6—9pm

Friday 10am—4pm (except Good Friday)

1st Saturday of the month (except Easter Saturday & on long weekends) 10am—4pm


Research Inquiry

To download a research inquiry form click here.



(remove ‘nospam’ to email us). Please also use this email address to contact the webmaster.

Graveside Flower Service

We provide a graveside flower service. Click here for further details.



To download a membership form click here. 


Membership fees

Fees for the year 1 March 2015 to end of February 2016 are: Joining fee: nil. Membership fee: $45 (journals sent by Australia Post; $40 (journals sent by email).   

Membership entitlements include 3 journals per year, free admission to LDFHS Resource Centre during opening hours including assistance with research enquiries, 3 hours free research by the LDFHS research officer for members who live outside Lithgow City Council area.


Credit Card Authority

To download a credit card authority form click here


Guidelines for use of our centre:

Security of Records at LDFH&S INC Resource Centre

It is a condition of entry that researchers are to use the lockers provided for the secure storage of personal articles, including handbags and other bags and larger folders.

The following items may be taken into the Resource Centre: 

  • Lead pencils 

  • Pad of paper, loose paper, A4 and other bound notebooks

  • Spectacles and spectacle case

  • Laptop computer without the bag. It must operate on battery power or on mains power in designated area due to OH&S requirements.

  • Digital camera. Use is allowed subject to Copyright or Deed of Gift not being breached. 

Please note the following:

  • Personal USB sticks / thumb drives or other portable drives are not to be used in LDFHS computers.

  • Society CDs or DVDs can only be used in Society computers

  • Digital scanning of records is not allowed

2015 Yvonne Jenkins Memorial Award 

yvonne2008.jpg (52034 bytes)

The commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac has prompted the title of the 2015 Yvonne Jenkins Memorial Award essay. 'What my ancestor did during World War I' (not necessarily a serviceman or woman) will allow scope to write the story of a soldier, or perhaps a parent, sibling or sweetheart, or even a 'best mate'. There were many young men who were in protected industries or who were deemed medically unfit for service. In Lithgow e.g. young men employed in the coal mines, at the Small Arms Factory and as school teachers were not eligible for enlistment until the latter years of the war. Many young miners enlisted in Sydney as 'labourers' rather than attend the local enlistment centre. 

Following the 2014 publication of the book "A Long March from Lithgow" to honour the men and women from Lithgow & District who served in the First World War, the Lithgow & District Family History Society Inc is confident that many researchers and writers will take up this new challenge. The award honours the Society's founder and local and family historian, Yvonne Jenkins from Rydal, NSW. Entries are not to exceed 1,000 words and must be submitted by 30th April 2015. Download the entry form here.

Lithgow, the Australia & NSW 2011 Tidy Towns Award winner


    Copyright held by LDFHS Inc.                                                Hosted by LISP in Lithgow NSW Australia                                    Last updated 20 Apr 2015