A HISTORIAN has vowed to continue her search for three missing photographs of World War One diggers linked to iconic former Bendigo business the Beehive.
Descendants of one Eaglehawk digger have already come forward with their ancestor's picture after Brenda Stevens-Chambers used local radio stations to call for images that would help restore the precious piece of Bendigo's history.
She was astonished by the high number of descendants contacting her with information about George Speedy, who served with the Australian army in France during the dying days of World War One.
"He worked in the Beehive, first in the men's section and then selling furniture. He was there for a very long time," Ms Stevens-Chambers said.
Speedy's image was one of 15 added to a veteran honour board displayed prominently on a landing between two floors of the Beehive complex.
Ms Stevens-Chambers is yet to track down any descendants of the final three people whose images she needs to restore the honour board, which she plans to donate to the Bendigo Soldiers Memorial Institute.
She found the honour board in a secondhand shop in Inglewood in October.
Ms Stevens-Chambers is hoping the public can help her find photos of:
- C. Wood, who was killed in action in April of 1918 and won the Military Medal
- R. Jenkins, who was killed in action in December of 1916
- J.A. Williams
The blood-stained battlefields of World War One left an indelible mark on the Beehive and its staff.
Of the 15 diggers featured on the board of honour, five were killed in action.
Ms Stevens-Chambers believed that was a high loss of life even by the particularly deadly standards of World War One.
One of those killed was store manager R.O. Henderson, who had left his job in 1915 to help the war effort and received the Distinguished Service Medal.
He was the son of a Beehive business co-founder and his family received news of his death in September 1918, a few months before the war drew to a close.
Ms Stevens-Chambers said the wider loss of life among early 20th century Australia was just as profound.
"It was a massive loss to our young nation of all those young men. I know I grew up with all these stories from my great-aunts and mother about my great-uncle, Henry Foster Midgley of Baine Street Bendigo, who died of wounds in Flanders on 2nd August 1917," she said.
Those with information can call 5443 4886.