Book honouring Waddikee heroes to be launched

Judith Long's book

Judith Long's book

A book honouring Koongawa/Waddikee Rock men who served in World War II will be launched at the Wudinna Show.

The book, written by Judith Long (nee Darby) who grew up in the Koongawa district, includes information of the 23 men listed on the Waddikee Rock Honor Roll and describes the consequences of the war on the district.

Mrs Long said she had an interest in military history but a search to identify soldiers in a picture posted on a Central Eyre Peninsula Facebook history page prompted her to write the book over the course of 18 months.

"Someone about two years ago posted a picture of two soldiers and asked who they were - I chased it up and found one of them is a man named on the board.

"It got me to thinking, there were 23 names and soon there will be no one left to know who they were, so I wanted to make the information accessible to future generations."

Almost 30 men from the area served and the honour roll, which once hung in the Koongawa Hall and is now in the foyer of the Wudinna and Districts Hall, lists 23.

Families of many of the men are still living on Eyre Peninsula or across the state.

Of the 23, one was killed in action - Cedric Payne in New Guinea in 1942 - and one is still alive, with 96-year-old Moss Darby enlisting in the Royal Australian Air Force that same year at 18.

NEW BOOK: Moss Darby, one of the 23 men from the Waddikee Rock Honor Roll, is the only surviving member of the group. Picture: Supplied

NEW BOOK: Moss Darby, one of the 23 men from the Waddikee Rock Honor Roll, is the only surviving member of the group. Picture: Supplied

Mrs Long said the book would appeal to people who grew up in the district and were interested in local history, military historians and family members.

The book was produced with the assistance of the Wudinna District Council and mayor Eleanor Scholz will help to launch it at Saturday's Wudinna Show at noon at the council's display area.

"The council paid for the printing, which I'm extremely grateful for - they showed me great support," Mrs Long said.

The book costs $30 and is also available by contacting Judith Long on longj48@bigpond.com or 0425 720 730.