Soldiers and local families linked to Rylstone Autograph Quilt

In September during History Week, Rylstone and District Historical Society will present an exhibition at the Rylstone Memorial Hall celebrating the stories of soldiers and local families linked to the Rylstone Autograph Quilt.

The Rylstone WWI Autograph Quilt was the result of efforts by Mrs James Dawson, supported by Mrs Fletcher, wife of the Rylstone Shire President, and Mrs J. W. Farrar 100 years ago. Individuals signed the quilt in pencil, and then paid to have their signatures embroidered over.

It was completed for July 30, 1915, called “Australia Day” – a special day where the Australian community raised money to support the war effort. Most of these funds were collected for the Australian Division of the Red Cross.

This quilt is now in safe-keeping at the War Memorial in Canberra. Its preservation has been a miracle. A Mrs Simpson in Sydney found the quilt in a collection of linen purchased at auction in Sydney in the 1970s and recognising its significance, sent it to the War Memorial. Its makers and all those who signed it would probably be surprised that it still exists 100 years later.

Rylstone and District Historical Society President, and Curator of the exhibition Helen Marsonet said she was very excited when she first found out six years ago that there was a Rylstone autograph quilt in the collection of the War Memorial.

“It has led to a massive project researching the signatures and information has been pouring in which will contribute substantially to the Rylstone family history archives.”

There are over 900 autographs embroidered in white embroidery thread on a white sheet in stem stitch and chain stitch, with decorative motifs of grape leaves, flowers, stars, sun rays and circles.

The quilt contains the names of at least 75 soldiers from the Rylstone district who enlisted between August 1914 and July 1915. Two stitched circles bear the names A.C.Robbins, A.H.Freeman and J.D. Sandstrom. All three were early Gallipoli casualties. A central circular shape bears the cipher of King George V and For Our Dardanelles Australian Wounded 1915.

Two circles bear the names of well-known Australian commanding officers also killed on Gallipoli in the first days – General Bridges and Colonels MacLaurin, Braund and Onslow-Thompson.

Rylstone citizens donated varying amounts to have their names or the names of loved ones, embroidered, which raised a total of £95. On completion, the quilt was auctioned and Mr E H Nash was the final purchaser paying £17.10 for it. The total raised was £112.10 – a substantial amount in 1915.

The “Stitches in Time” exhibition in Rylstone celebrating 100 years since the quilt was created will feature the signatures from the quilt in the form of large projections. There will be stories and photographs and a memorial to the recently identified soldier Athol Kirkland given to the family by the residents of Pinnacle Swamp.

Other items will include WWI objects, uniforms, and other attractions. During the exhibition, embroidery in the style of the quilt and sock knitting will be demonstrated. The exhibition will be open daily from 10am to 4pm from September 4 to 11.

Anyone curious to know if the signatures of their forebears are on the quilt, or who can provide further family history information, are urged to contact Helen Marsonet at Rylstone and District Historical Society at rylstonehistory@westnet.com.au or PO Box 66 Rylstone 2849.

 

Source: Mudgee Guardian, newspaper article (http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/story/3150600/soldiers-and-local-families-linked-to-rylstone-autograph-quilt/)

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Autograph Quilt comes to light at War Memorial

Rylstone and District Historical Society (RDHS) members are researching information on a fascinating quilt that has come to light at the War Memorial Memorial museum in Canberra.

The quilt contains around 1000 embroidered names, many of them from the Rylstone district.

The quilt is at the Australian War Memorial because it contains the names of 49 WWI soldiers – most of who have now been identified.

The other 950 or so names and embroiderers are the subject of the RDHS research.

RDHS president Helen Marsonet said she first learned of the quilt’s existence about five years ago when she was rummaging through old RDHS documents that were in a plastic shopping bag in the society’s office.

“I discovered a hand written letter from a Mrs Simpson giving information about the quilt and how it had been found,” Mrs Marsonet said.

“The letter had been sent to a former member of the RDHS, Meredith Taylor, following her enquiries.

“It appears that the lady had bid for a cupboard full of linen at a house auction in Sydney and had subsequently found the quilt.

“At the top of the quilt were the words ‘The Rylstone Autograph Quilt’ and it was embroidered all over with signatures in white thread.

“There was also reference to WWI and the names of soldiers who had enlisted in the military forces from the district.

“She subsequently sent the quilt to the Rylstone RSL, but as the members of the board had nowhere to keep it they sent it back.

“Thankfully, Mrs Simpson had the good sense to send it to the war memorial where it is today.”

Mrs Marsonet believes people paid sixpence (five cents) and then wrote their names or other family member’s names in pencil.

Women would then embroider the names later.

This was a fundraiser for the war effort at the time.

The Rylstone and District Historical Society are keen to identify all the names on the quilt and the names of the embroiderers.

Their aim is to put on an exhibition next year in History Week and they’d like to talk with anyone who may have further information on the names.

If you’d like to see if your ancestor’s name might be there, call into the cottage Museum, Rylstone on a Sunday or phone Helen Marsonet on 6379 0772 and ask for information on the quilt.

You can obtain a form and a guide to research which can be filled out.

There will also be workshops later in the year to help people.

Source: Mudgee Guardian, newspaper article (Rylstone Autograph Quilt – Mudgee Guardian)

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram
Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Athol Goodwin KIRKLAND and the Rylstone Autograph Quilt

Recently the final resting place of Corporal Athol Goodwin KIRKLAND, killed in WW1, was identified in Crucifix Corner Cemetery, near Villers-Bretonneux in the Somme. There is a signature on the Rylstone Autograph Quilt, namely ‘A. Kirkland’, which could be Athol Goodwin KIRKLAND although there were other A. KIRKLANDs in the area at the time.

The following article provides some very interesting reading.

Unknown soldier identified as lost corporal from Mudgee

Source: http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/story/3041959/unknown-soldier-identified-as-lost-corporal-from-mudgee/

Related links: Rylstone WW1 Autograph Quilt

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Athol Goodwin KIRKLAND and the Rylstone Autograph Quilt

Hut may be demolished after vandals’ rampage

Vandals in Rylstone have destroyed months of hard work by a local family to restore a 19th Century shepherd’s hut for public use.

Rod Leffley from Rylstone said he and his family had been restoring Birds Hut, a building that is next to Wollemi National Park, and had been in his family for five generations.

“It was built in 1880 and we were redoing it with the aim that campers would be able to use it for overnight stays. But we’re not sure that will be happening anymore,” Mr Leffley said.

Mr Leffley said that sometime in the past two weeks, vandals entered the property on the Olinda Road near Dunns Swamp and “went on a rampage”, destroying hand hewn slab walls and smashing windows.

“The building has been so severely damaged that, after receiving advice from professionals, we’re considering demolishing it,” Mr Leffley said.

Owners Ben and Jessie Leffley are great-great-grandchildren on the original pioneer and builder, Richard Bird, and have posted a substantial reward for the successful prosecution of the offenders.

Bird Hut was to be used as an exhibition space for the 2015 Kandos Cementa Art Exhibition but Mr Leffley said it was now doubtful that the space could still be used.

If you have any information about the vandalism, contact Mudgee Local Area Command.

 

Source: http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/story/2879416/hut-may-be-demolished-after-vandals-rampage/#slide=1

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram
Categories: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hut may be demolished after vandals’ rampage

Rylstone Historical Society farewells Bob and Sally O’Neill – Mudgee Guardian

Rylstone Historical Society farewells Bob and Sally O’Neill, news article – Mudgee Guardian (11 June 2014)

SAYING FAREWELL: (Front row l-r) Historical Society members, George McDonald (Patron) with current and former presidents Helen Marsonet and Virginia Hollister, Sally O’Neill, (back row l-r) Peter Monaghan and Bob O’Neill.

SAYING FAREWELL: (Front row l-r) Historical Society members, George McDonald (Patron) with current and former presidents Helen Marsonet and Virginia Hollister, Sally O’Neill, (back row l-r) Peter Monaghan and Bob O’Neill.

Rylstone and District Historical Society members held a dinner at the Globe Hotel Shed Bistro on Tuesday, June 3 to farewell Bob O’Neill and his wife Sally who have recently sold their property Long Gully near Rylstone and are moving to Blackheath.

Mr O’Neill played a pivotal role in the local historical society when its future was in doubt and assets including the iconic Bridge View Inn were moved to be sold at a public meeting in 2003.

Following the dinner on Tuesday evening Peter Monaghan gave a history of that famous meeting. He described how Mr O’Neill moved that the motion to sell the BVI be rescinded. His motion was overwhelmingly supported by the packed venue.

An interim committee was then formed with Mr O’Neill as president, Carolyn Barlow vice-president, Peter Monaghan treasurer and Maryanne Johnson secretary.

With the financial situation in dire straits, Mr O’Neill discovered he had a week to submit a 100 page grant application for $100,000. The application was successful and this enabled a major refurbishment of the BVI including re-roofing the building and repairing the stone chimneys. The first President’s Report in August 2004 noted that they had “recovered from shipwreck.” Mr Monaghan told Mr O’Neill that the society had a great deal to thank him for.

During the evening current president Helen Marsonet also thanked Mr O’Neill and his wife for the incredible help and support they have given the historical society over the years, while current vice-president Virginia Hollister recited a humorous poem she had written for the occasion.

Mr O’Neill thanked everyone for the kind words and said it had given them both considerable satisfaction to have worked with the society.

“We shall be back. This has been too much fun to let it go,” he added.

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram
Categories: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rylstone Historical Society farewells Bob and Sally O’Neill – Mudgee Guardian

Rylstone district rallies behind historical society – Mudgee Guardian

Rylstone district rallies behind historical society, news article – Mudgee Guardian (14 September 2014)

STANDING ROOM ONLY: More than 60 people attended the special meeting to decide Rylstone District Historical Society’s future at a special meeting on Saturday.

STANDING ROOM ONLY: More than 60 people attended the special meeting to decide Rylstone District Historical Society’s future at a special meeting on Saturday.

The Rylstone District Historical Society has a new lease of life following a special meeting at the society’s iconic Bridge View Inn on Saturday afternoon. In a show of great support the community rallied behind the group with over 60 people present at the meeting and many new members signed up.

Within a couple of minutes of the welcome, President Helen Marsonet explained that the previous motion that The Rylstone and District Historical Society Inc. be voluntarily wound up and its assets be divested in accordance with Clause 43 of its constitution was in fact unconstitutional and that the society had now filled all executive and committee positions.

She advised that Eric Williams was vice-president, Deborah Bush, secretary and Lori Grabham, treasurer. The ordinary committee members are Virginia Hollister, Jeanette McCarthy and Shirley Tunnicliff who also doubles up as minute’s secretary.

Mrs Marsonet then asked past-president of the society, Bob Chrismas to chair the meeting. Mr Chrismas explained that there was no notice of motion and that the meeting was therefore being held to consider the future of the society.

Bob O’Neill, a former president who played a key role in the society’s reformation a decade earlier, moved that the society continue and that it be not wound up. The motion was carried unanimously.

In his address to the meeting, Peter Monaghan – also a past president and the proposer of the motion on notice, said he was extremely pleased to hear that RDHS now has a full crew on committee.

“I’m sure that Helen and her three not-so-ordinary committee members are equally relieved and pleased with the outcome. To all those who in the last month offered to serve on the committee and to the three who were appointed thank you and congratulations.

“Finally, thank you to those 15 members who attended the AGM and participated in the democratic process of taking decisive action when it was needed. Without that action being taken at the AGM I do not believe that the outcome announced today would have been achieved.”

Mr Monaghan added that he was set to propose that the motion on notice be withdrawn following the filling of all positions but that was no longer necessary.

After the meeting, which lasted just over half an hour, Mrs Marsonet said she was very relieved at the outcome.

“It’s been a very harrowing month. We’ve all worked so hard at getting grants, building up our resources and establishing a very successful asset for the community. I’m so grateful that the community rallied behind us,” she said.

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram
Categories: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rylstone district rallies behind historical society – Mudgee Guardian

Local & Family History

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in the BVI Dining Room

10am – 3pm

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram
Categories: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Local & Family History

Working Bee – 25th October 2014

There will be a working bee on Saturday 25th October, 2014, from 9am to 3pm.

Jobs will include cleaning the BVI verandah railing; oiling timber screens, cellar doors and possibly the top verandah floor; weeding gardens, tidying the wood pile and compost; cleaning gutters, downpipes and pits and inspecting and cleaning Cottage water tanks.

Even if you’re not up to manual labour, we also need people to help prepare lunch and to undertake light jobs. A BBQ lunch, tea and coffee will be provided but a plate of salad or something sweet to share would be appreciated. Please contact Eric on 6379 0990 if you are able to come along.

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Working Bee – 25th October 2014

Rylstone StreetFeast

StreetFeast

We will be having a stall at StreetFeast on 1st November, 2014. The stall is a great opportunity to promote the Society as well as supporting our local community.

Volunteers are required to man the stall so if you can spare a couple of hours, please contact Eric on 6379 0990.

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Rylstone StreetFeast