When World War 1 began in 1914, Canterbury’s population was only 19,000 people, but many of our local young men volunteered for service because they were patriotism and wanted to support Great Britain, considered Australia’s ‘mother country’. Research by Brian Madden and Lesley Muir uncovered more than 1900 men from the Canterbury district who volunteered to fight in Australian forces in the war. Three hundred and fifty of them were killed and many came back disabled. The loss and disablement of so many local men would have had a huge impact on the small Canterbury community.
These local volunteers are documented in a book written by Lesley Muir and members of the Canterbury & District Historical Society, called “Canterbury’s Boys: World War 1 and Sydney’s Suburban Fringe”. The book has biographies of over 1,900 men and five women from the Canterbury District who volunteered for service in World War 1, with photographs of many of them.