About Us

a few words about​

Who We Are​

Village children from Agulogo Village Kokoda Track Papua New Guinea
France 2014 330

On Wednesday 24th September 2014, Kevin sat in front of his Great Grandfather William Wrathall’s grave in Halley le Pernois Northern France.

Only a couple of years earlier Kevin never knew his Great Grandfather’s name, while researching on Ancestry for information on his grandmother, I stumbled upon information on her death certificate that her father was in the “Permanent Army”, with excitement building it wasn't long before an 80 page service file on Sapper William Wrathall – service number 4807 a Tunneller with the 2nd Australian Tunnelling compay was found, what an amazing find… and so began our search for more information.

Kevin never knew of any family from his fathers side, tragically losing his father at a young age, family history was never discussed and as a boy Kevin never really asked.  So to find information, better still to find a family member who served in the Australian Army during WW1 was an incredible and emotional moment. Our research continued and in the coming months we would undertake basic French lessons and after booking a battlefield tour we were heading to France.

Visiting the battlefields & driving through the areas that we had only read about and seen pictures of was such a surreal experience.  Our tour visited Hill 60, Polygon Wood, Bullecourt, Fromelles – VC Corner, Pheasant Wood, Villers Bretonneux, Mouquet Farm,  Ypres (Ieper) Menin Gate last post ceremony just to name a few.

It was within Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in the world with 11,965 burials – Yes that’s 11,965 White headstones, 11,965 Service men of the British Empire from the first world war of this 11,965 burials 8,370 are unidentified, standing in front of Australian Service number 456 Sergeant L. McGee VC 40th Battalion AIF age 29, that Kevin turned to me and said “ Look around you…  Everyone of these Men have a story, Every one has a family, When we get home starting with our cenotaph we are going to remember our diggers the best we can one at a time..  They all have a story”

Following this day, our Guide Ken drove us off the beaten track to find William’s resting place – Pernois British Cemetery.  We had already driven for in excess of 8 hours this particular day, but our guide was more than happy to for fill our wish, He also was intrigued by William’s story.  And at Memorial Reference III C 12 Service number: 4807 Sapper William Wrathall age 40, lay resting surrounded by 417 headstones and wheat fields with the most peaceful view of the Somme Valley.  Almost 96 years earlier was surrounded with fierce fighting.

William’s story is one of tragedy he would not die from a gun shot wound or underground in the tunnels, but was tragically struck by a train behind the lines only 2 months short of the Armistice.

After ending our Battlefields tour and spending time in Amiens before travelling to Paris and staying in a tiny apartment, our research begins for the names listed on our local cenotaph.

Returning to France in 2017 and after years of extensive research we met up and stayed with our tour guide from our first trip, who welcomed us to stay with them as we kept in touch over the years.  Ken and Kevin planned our days and we visited the cemeteries and names inscribed of all but 6 off the Batlow Cenotaph as well as a return visit to William’s headstone, taking our youngest daughter with us.

To date we can locate and have the service file for every name on the Batlow Cenotaph, the final name and service file was only located and researched in November 2018.

Along the way we have had the honour and privilege to research service files for other families.  We develop a strong connection to each person we research and get very emotional at times when preparing and presenting a portfolio for someone or a family.  Each portfolio is individual to that person,  where they lived, served, died, maps, photo’s and memorabilia can all be added into a file.  Removing all the large figures and numbers and focusing on the one service member is a privilege.

Kevin has only just returned from trekking Kokoda for a 2nd time, prior to his return trek he researched the Grand Father of the trek leader, he had served on Kokoda and was an extremely emotional event to hand over the file prior to Chris trekking in his grandfathers footsteps for the next 9 days.

Our collection of information, service files, photos & memorabilia will continue to grow, It’s a passion and one that we hope we can continue to evolve and develop so that we can undertake more research for clients.  Our research continues and is constantly ongoing.  My French lessons continue to this day, for any return trips to France, enhances our experience and may allow me to communicate with the local’s.

Kevin’s ability to gather the facts, recreate a timeline of events within their story is incredible.  The attention to detail, being able to remember these men and women and have their individual service information pieced together is unique and a service even to the community that is priceless.