The final presentation of Family History Feast was the 2013 Don Grant Lecture, delivered by
Lt Col. Neil C Smith, AM. His excellent talk That elusive Digger : tracing your military ancestors was a great way to end our 10th annual Family History Feast. Neil Smith summarised the wide history of the ANZACs and also touched on how to trace Australian military records.

Neil recommended the following resources:

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Photograph courtesy of Jessica Reid, National Archives of Australia

Neil also emphasised the importance of understanding the periods and conflicts in which ordinary Australians have served. Discover what life was really like for your military ancestors.

  • Learn terminology and ranks
  • Look closely at medals for a regimental number and unit
  • Cherish your ancestors war medals. Find out what they were awarded for
  • Read regimental/unit histories
  • Follow pay records – who were they sending money to? A wife, mother, father?
  • Get family members to annotate old photographs and write down or talk about their own war experiences.

“Do all these things so your family and future generations know why we gather and remember our veterans”.

If you missed this talk, or would just like to see it again, the vidcast will soon be available on the State Library website. Congratulations to Neil Smith and the other presenters for making our 10th Family History Feast a truly memorable event.

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2013 Family History Feast presenters
Photograph courtesy of Jessica Reid, National Archives of Australia

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