Murringo men on the search for soldiers

John Richens and Tony Porter from Murringo are calling for community help to find names and photos of WWI and WWII soldiers from the village.
John Richens and Tony Porter from Murringo are calling for community help to find names and photos of WWI and WWII soldiers from the village.

For two local men from Murringo, the search is on to find the names and photos of WWI and WWII soldiers to help complete Honour Boards located in Murringo Hall – and you can help.

John Richens and Tony Porter hope to create two new boards in the Hall to make sure no soldiers from Murringo are forgotten. 

“There were several names left out and our aim is to update them and to give people a better understanding of who they were by providing a photograph,” John said. 

“This is really, very interesting for the community… updating the history of the village of Murringo because I honestly believe this is the last chance we’ve got. 

“The younger generation have little or no idea about these men and women. And most certainly don’t have the contacts to find out about them.”

Tony said quite a number of Murringo soldiers were left off the board, possibly due to local politics at the time. 

The original Boards will be retained and the new Boards will be added to compliment what was done back in 1985.

“John is endeavoring to right this wrong so that both boards are much more accurate,” he said. 

“At the moment, they are just a name and for people of the future, they will be able to see a picture of the person, in uniform and it will be, I think, much more personal.

“I don't think there’s too many boards anywhere with photos on them and this will be a first for Murringo and possibly this area.”

John said the project has received the support of the Young and Boorowa RSL sub-Branches, as well as Hilltops Council and the Murringo Community Association.

“It shows the Council and the RSL are taking an interest in small villages and what is happening in those villages,” he said.

“It’s not just about the larger centres.”

Both John and Tony agree however, the main reason for the project is to honour the sacrifice made by the descendants of long-time families in Murringo area.  

“We also need to keep the memory of these men and women alive because of the valiant sacrifices they made for Australia and all of us,” he said. 

”The long-time families of Murringo, like the Patterson family, the Cummins family, the Oakes family, the O’Connor family… that is why I’m pursuing this, because of those families.

“All of the families are adamant that their relatives names are on the new Boards. They want their relatives acknowledged and remembered for posterity. 

“We have all of the WW1 photos but we need relatives to positively identify them, and we have around 50 of the WW2 soldiers. Again, we need more photos and positive identification from family members.”

The pair will be hosting a luncheon in Boorowa for all of the descendants of WWI and WWII enlistees from Murringo on Saturday, February 24 at 12:30pm at the Boorowa Ex-Services Club. 

Cost is $27.50 a head and RSVP by February 19 to John or Tony on 6384 6222, 0427 600 888 or jrich@activ8.net.au 

If you can provide any information or photos, please contact John on jrich@activ8.net.au

Once all the photos, service records and histories are complete, John is going to write a book and complete a CD Rom.