Seasonal workers among those honoured

One hundred years after World War I, it is proving difficult to identify some of the service personnel named on local Honour Boards.

Source: J Cooper: Personal collection

Shearers visit Jericho, c. 1911


Shearers and shedhands working for mobile shearing companies dressed up and came to town to organise weekend sports for the town children. The teams operated in areas where individual shearing sheds had not yet been built on the smaller sheep stations. As this team shore on a number of stations around Jericho in the pre-war decade, these men would have become well known by local families. Perhaps some of these men are those listed on a local Honour Board but not yet identified. Can you identify anyone?

These Queensland rural communities are distinctive in that many names are not those of local families. The shearers, well-borers, fencers, drovers, station managers and rural agents were among the rural workers who came for a short period, then moved on to work elsewhere. These seasonal, itinerant or salaried employees came from interstate as well as from overseas.

The familiar names are long forgotten!

Alpha Honour Board, columns 3 & 4

In addition, we no longer know the nicknames familiar at the time. We have forgotten those who were known by their second given name. In some cases these names could have been the ones used (with initials only) on Honour Boards.

Identification difficulties are multiplied for those who have common surnames duplicated on Australian War Memorial lists.

These two panels include 18 names of men not yet clearly identified as having a link to the Alpha and Jericho districts, giving reason for the local honour. Of the total of 230 personnel on my database, 30 are still to be identified as having this link.


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