As soldiers began returning home from World War Two it could be the very best of times, but for those with sons who had died it could be the worst.
The Pyramid Hill & District Historical Society is preparing to publish a book on happenings in the area during the war and secretary Helen Stevens said it was a period when people scraped together what they could for the war effort even as they battled a cruel climate.
“The end of the 1930s and the early 1940s were drought years and I know my mum and dad were finding things very hard on the farm, especially for gathering money for things,” she said.
Despite the hard times communities across the district banded together to raise funds for the war effort, perform farewells for servicemen and women and, as time went on, welcome home those who survived.
“They trained through the Red Cross in case the war came this way,” Mrs Stevens said, adding that they also prepared accommodation in case children from Melbourne needed to be evacuated.
The reason they worked so hard to help the war effort was because so many of their sons had headed off to the front.
“So of course they supported it,” Mrs Stevens said.
Such was the drain of young men for the war effort that local football teams and the local Highland pipe band were put on hiatus, she said.
Much of the historical society’s new book was informed by the Pyramid Hill Advertiser, which was published up until 1971 and still is of benefit to local historians.
“It has been a wonderful source of information for the Pyramid Hill & District Historical Society. It has been our main source of income,” Mrs Stevens said.
From the Pyramid Hill Advertiser the society had been able to create books on aspects of history that could be sold to the public.
“We’ve looked at the town as it developed, cemetery and obituary books, we’ve done World War One and now we are doing World War Two,” Mrs Stevens said.
The latest book will be launched on Sunday October 14.
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