Rushworth & District Historical Society Book Sales

Rushworth & District Historical Society Book Sales



For those in our community interested in our region’s history, the Rushworth  & District Historical Society have the following books for sale.  Both books have been difficult to obtain for some years but are now once more available:


‘Walls of Wire’   by Joyce Hammond at $30.00 Plus Postage


This book covers in considerable detail the arrival in the Rushworth, Tatura and Murchison districts thousands of Axis prisoners of war and civilian detainees during the early years of World War 2.  Joyce Hammond also describes in detail and with considerable sympathy the personal problems undergone by both military and civilian detainees, their interaction with both their indifferently trained Australian military guards and their generally good relationship with the local people of Rushworth, Murchison and Tatura.  Many real friendships with local people were forged during these years involving German and Italian prisoners – both military and civilian – which in many cases have lasted to this day.


In 1939, shortly before the outbreak of World War 2, the Vienna Mozart Boys’ Choir was just completing a tour of America, New Zealand and Australia.  The performances of these talented youngsters dressed in their white naval uniforms and aged between nine and fourteen years had charmed Australians.  But their ship due to return them to Germany was eventually interned in Fremantle in West Australia.  The boys were tragically separated from their families in Austria – which became part of the ‘Greater German Reich’.  Following five to six years internment in Australia, and the destruction of their homes by allied bombing and Soviet army occupation  in Austria and Germany, many of these boys would never see their parents or their homes again.


As a side-note, whilst stationed in Penang, Malaysia, in the early seventies, Heather and I enjoyed a performance of the Vienna Boy’s Choir then touring the Far East, little realizing that perhaps thirty years later we would be living in an area where a significant part of their history was played out.




History of The Waranga Basin   by Joyce Hammond at $18.00 Plus postage


This is an early history of the development of the Waranga Goldfields region which would later incorporate the Rushworth and Whroo townships.  Although the township of Waranga and many of the houses and properties which were once thriving family homes within the bounds of  land are now submerged beneath the waters of ‘Waranga Basin’,  many of the family names are still prominent in this area. 


Joyce Hammond’s book is rich in photographs of the old homesteads and the prominent personalities who shaped the history of Rushworth and its environs.  Although this is not a large book, nor is it particularly ‘thick’ at only 48 pages, it’s well bound and for me at least, an historical ‘must have’.



Mike Wellington


Rushworth & District Historical Society


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8 Responses to Rushworth & District Historical Society Book Sales

  1. Robyn Thompson says:

    I wrote many months ago about the Johnson families from Rushworth.
    I believe you had a book called RUSHWORTH. which is no longer available.
    But is there any way that someone has a copy and would be able to copy it for me.
    I am willing to cover any cost that may occur.
    I have been told that there is many stories of my Johnson ancestors, and William Johnson being the band leader.
    Your please assist me with my request.
    I am unable to drive long distances any more due to ill health, being i won,t be able to drive to Rushworth to look at the Museum .
    I remain yours.
    Robyn Thompson.

    • Clive Meaker says:

      Dear Robyn

      I am descended from the Johnsons and Pocknees of Rushworth and have a fair amount of info about them. If you are still interested you can email me at
      Clive Meaker

      • Trish Erickson says:

        Hello Clive, my connection to Johnsons Is Sarah (my great grandmother) daughter of William and Ellen nee Mclean, Sarah married Michael Walshe they had the Victoria Hotel in Tatura ( still standing) I have all Williams and Ellen’s convict records, but still no further advanced on their parents. I did find Williams name on the Chartist riots 1842 which resulted in his transportation, very interesting reading. Did you ever download James Clarence Johnson’s war records great reading but very sad died in Gallipoli.
        And of course his photo is in the Golden Years of Rushworth along with two other cousins in the band.
        Kind Regards Trish also on

      • Hi Trish please send me an email to and can discuss details you are seeking. George Gemmill Webmaster Rushworth Museum

  2. Dave Heard, 0434 607 273 says:

    My family,or at least my mothers side were LeRoys, Pettifers and Berry. My mothers name is Dorothy Heard, and her mother was Elsie Berry. I believe that the family history has been fairly well documented in the book, Rushworth, that is now out of print. Can you direct me to the author, or to where this book can be purchased, or how I can get a copy. Thank you very much. Dave

    • Murray Wigg says:

      Author: Joyce Hammond
      “The golden years of Rushworth & Whroo”
      ISBN 10: 0959647821
      ISBN 13: 9780959647822

  3. says:

    I would like to buy the book
    Walls of wire
    How do I go about this?

    • Hi Andrew thanks for your welcome inquiry re The book Walls of Wire by Joyce Hammond sorry but we do not have any left but would suggest you try the Tatura Museum they could have some there for sale.
      We do have another book written by Joyce it is called History of the Waranga Basin for sale at $15 plus postage.
      We also have the book Rushworth & District 1853-2006 it is also $15 plus postage.
      Best Wishes for the New Year George Gemmill

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