A new branch of the Western Front Association has been established in Australia. Based on the regional town of Castlemaine in Central Victoria (80 miles north-west of Melbourne), it is the third branch in Australia, joining branches in Sydney and Canberra.
The founding Chairman is Mick Hanrahan, who was a member of the London Branch in 2011 and 2012. Mick told WFA Branch Coordinator, David Easton, "I greatly enjoyed the comradery of the London Branch members and their generosity in sharing their knowledge and perspectives when I lived in London. My aim is to replicate that spirit in central Victoria."
The new branch has already been involved in organising local celebrations – with the Royal Australian Air Force – for the Centenary of Military Aviation in Australia. "The first Australian military flight was on 1 March 1914 by LT Eric Harrison who came from Castlemaine. This first flight was with a Bristol Boxkite at the Central Flying School at Point Cook in Victoria. " Mick said. "The RAAF supported the local community with their Hot Air Balloon visiting primary school children (including the school Eric Harrison attended), an Air Combat Officer came to town and spoke about Eric Harrison to secondary school students, and there were fly-pasts over Castlemaine by a F/A-18 Classic Hornet on two days".
"We are not in an area blessed with an abundance of new authors wanting to give presentations on their latest book (as in the UK), so we'll be more of a self-help study group, and we have joined a support program for junior secondary level students studying Australian history and the First World War. The Branch has met three times so far and we are keen to observe the First World War commemorations in the coming years."
The Western Front Association Central Victoria Branch can be contacted at
or contact Mick Hanrahan at P O Box 94 Maldon Victoria, 3463.