Our Bravest. Honouring our war heroes.

February 8, 2015

St Patrick’s College is nearing completion of a massive research project which will result in the publication of a book documenting the history of all its former students who fought in World War I.

College archivist Catriona Banks said the school was aware of nearly 300 Old Boys who had fought in World War 1, around 50 of whom were killed in action. The College is producing a book tracing the lives of as many of these men as possible and will release the book at a special Old Collegians Association Legends Dinner on Saturday, May 2 -“ time to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing a week earlier.

-It has been an enormous project over the past 18 months tracing the history of as many Old Boys as possible and along the way we have unearthed some incredible stories of supreme bravery,- Ms Banks said.

-While there have been some students for whom we have not been unable to find much detail, we anticipate that this publication will be replicated online in the future ensuring it remains a living, breathing document which can be constantly updated.

-If there are descendants of Old Boys who fought in the war who have information or photos or letters, we’d love to see it so we could look to include them in the publication.

-This book will be a fantastic piece of history for St Patrick’s College and for the wider Ballarat community and we are really aiming to make it as comprehensive as possible.-

Ms Banks said the College had already unearthed some amazing tales of bravery and heartbreak and was looking forward to producing a compelling historical record of some of Ballarat’s bravest men.

-We have found two families from the St Patrick’s College community at that time who endured the horror of each losing three brothers in the Great War,- Ms Banks said. -We have also found evidence of several Old Boys who were highly decorated for incredible deeds of bravery and honour.-

Four Old Collegians with strong military connections will be inducted as Legends of St Patrick’s College when the book is launched at a gala function on Saturday May 2 in the Old Collegians Pavilion overlooking the College’s Main Oval. A memorial Mass will be held at 6pm in the College Chapel before the gala dinner commences at 7pm.

All-inclusive tickets for the function will cost $80 (including a tax-deductible $20 donation to the St Patrick’s College Foundation) and are available by contacting Rachel Bryant at the College on 5322 4386 or by emailing rbryant@stpats.vic.edu.au Tickets are sure to sell quickly so please make your booking as soon as possible. Anyone with information about St Patrick’s College Old Boys who fought in World War I is urged to contact Ms Banks on 5331 1688 or at cbanks@stpats.vic.edu.au.

Order your copy now using this order form at this link