Sunday, May 3, 2015

south australia: napperby

For as long as I can remember my family 
spoke of my grandmother's uncle, Cyril, who enlisted at the outbreak of World War One and was killed on ANZAC Day at Gallipoli at the age of 22. My grandmother's mother, his sister, was only one and a half years old when he died. 

This photograph of Cyril atop a camel in Egypt was displayed in my grandmother's home. (It turns out that copies were sent home and distributed to each of Cyril's siblings from Cyril himself in Christmas 1914).  

Leading up to the centenary of the Gallipoli landings a group of West Australians made it their mission to identify each of the West Australian soldiers who died at Gallipoli. They have also identified many of the men of the 11th Battalion who were photographed at the pyramid in Cheops. Cyril is #587. 

Articles have been published in the newspapers and, as a result, more family has come out of the woodwork. Who would have thought that, one hundred years on my great, great uncle's death could bring the family's branches all together? It's been particularly overwhelming for my cousin, who now lives in Switzerland, as she has recorded  so much of our family history & genealogy. 

This photo surfaced in an old album and the people have been identified as the grandparents of Cyril at the Napperby Store. My cousin flicked this photo to me so that I might be able to visit the town. As it happened Napperby was a short detour for us - not far inland from Port Pirie. 

It only took a few minutes to drive through the streets of small town of Napperby. We found a playground and set about getting lunch together when a local, Bob, pulled up asking if we needed help. 

I showed Bob the photo and, intrigued as he was, he stayed a while and we discussed the history of Napperby and its townsfolk. Obviously we didn't expect the Napperby Store to exist nowadays but Bob suggested some of the older folk in town might recognise others in the photographs - and may well have photos of my family too. 

Bob is now on a mission! And it's pretty exciting for us!! 

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