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“Facts, Furphys & Figments – WW1 Revealed”

“Facts, Furphys & Figments – WW1 Revealed”


From the landing at ANZAC Cove on April 25th 1915 until the guns fell silent on the Western Front on November 11th, 1918, many thousands of Australians and New Zealanders played pivotal roles in the key battles of the Great War. As our countries commemorate the 100 year anniversaries of these events, there has been a renewal of interest and research into the events and the people and personalities involved. Old assumptions have been tested, myths and legends have been explored, and a veritable treasure trove of private and personal information has been re-discovered and made available for public consumption.


On Saturday 21st November 2015, from 10 am to 3.30 pm, at Oscar’s Hotel & Café Bar, 18 Doveton Street South, Ballarat, Mining Mud & Medals proudly presents a day of documentary makers, authors and speakers on a variety of World War One related subjects. Cost for the day, including a morning tea, is $40 per person.


Local film-makers Lucinda Horrocks and Jay Nemo from ‘Wind and Sky Productions’ will feature their video project: “Memories of War”. Their project commemorates the centenary of WW1 in Ballarat and connects young people to events that took place a century ago. Students from Federation University tell the stories of Ballarat people affected by the Great War.


Joshua Funder, great grandson of Stanley Watson wrote ‘Watson’s Pier’ as part of his family history. In Joshua’s words, “one Christmas when I was a small boy, I sat with my brother Hugh listening to the war stories of our great grandfather, Stanley Watson, who had come from Adelaide to Melbourne to visit us. What I heard for the first time that day in 1977 was the story of the remarkable evacuation of Gallipoli and his part in it. Hugh placed a tape recorder beside our great grandpa, documenting his words for a school project.” Joshua Funder will tell of his great-grandfather, who helped to build the pier to enable easier landing of supplies and weapons and which at the end of the Gallipoli Campaign, played a key role in the evacuation of 20,000 men.


Dr. Kirsty Harris’ expertise is on the roles and skills of Australian nurses who served overseas during World War I. Her current research includes Empire women at Gallipoli. Dr Harris was winner of the C.E.W. Bean Prize for Military History in 2008 for her PhD Thesis, upon which she based her book “More than Bombs and Bandages: Australian Army nurses at work in World War I’. The topic of Dr Harris’s talk will be ‘On the ferry service: nurses at sea at Gallipoli’.


Michael McKernan is an historian and prolific writer with extensive experience in teaching and research, management, the media and the practical presentation of history.  He is a commentator on ABC radio, and has a weekly half hour program on Australian history on the ABC’s 2BL Sydney and 2CN Canberra. As a former Deputy Director of the Australian War Memorial and project manager for the Entombment of the Unknown Australian Soldier, he was responsible for one of the most successful commemorative activities held in Australia. His most recent book ‘Victoria at War’, records the achievements of the state’s soldiers, nurses and their families, and will be the subject of his talk.


Finishing off the day will be a discussion panel highlighting the Myths & Truths of WW1. The panel will be led by Ballarat School teacher Justin Hayward, previously crowned the Victorian Winner of the Raw Comedy Festival.

Cost for the day, including a morning tea, is $40 per person (Lunch at own cost). Payments can be made direct (please include your name) to the Victorian Interpretive Project Inc. – Project account: BSB 633 000 account number: 145608105 or pay at the door, but please let us know by booking via email: or phone Yvon on 0438140756

There will be an hour break for lunch, however if you plan to have lunch at Oscar’s please book directly beforehand. You will have the opportunity to ask questions of each of our speakers as well as book signing opportunities.

Mining Mud & Medals is managed by a small subcommittee of the Victorian Interpretive Projects Inc., a Ballarat based not-for-profit organisation. Members include historians, genealogists, military researchers, professional editors, broadcasters and journalists.



P.O. BOX 171N



For more information please email: