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In 2015 Australia commemorated the Centenary of ANZAC.

The Bribie Island Historical Society posed the question…….”Who answered the Call” …….wondering how many people from Bribie and surrounds had answered the call to serve in both World Wars.

With support from the ANZAC Centenary Fund the Society conducted detailed research which identified 18 men  who enlisted for World War 1 (1914-18) and 19 for World War 2.

To commemorate the Centenary in 2015 the Historical Society unveiled two  bronze plaques at the War Memorial on First Avenue.


This year 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1 and the Historical Society have once again honoured those from Bribie and surrounds who answered the call to duty.

With a Grant from the Queensland ANZAC Centenary Program the Society President Graham Mills and Database Coordinator Donna Holmes have done further research to published a digitised book  recording the personal stories of these 37 local men and women who served in two Wold Wars.

It is remarkable that back in 1914 when the resident population of Bribie was less than 50 people, 18 men enlisted.

By 1940 there were a few more residents on Bribie and surrounds, and 16 men and 2 women enlisted for World War 2..

The Historical Society have researched and documented the stories of these 37 people and captured them in a digitised publication titled “They Answered the Call” to complement their names already engraved on the two plaques unveiled in 2015.

At a moving event recently conducted at the Bribie Seaside Museum, President Graham Mills outlined the scope of the Project and the book was officially launched with appropriate words from Councillor Brooke Savige and State Member for Pumicestone Simone Wilson.

 Photo Supplied - Left to Right Brooke Savige ,Graham Mills, Simone Wilson ,Donna Holmes

Several descendants and family members of the 37 people being honoured were in attendance, and were delighted to have these stories documented after all these years.

In his opening address Graham Mills reminded us of the words of one RAAF Nursing Sister, Sharon Bown, who served in East Timor, survived a Helicopter crash, and returned with the scars of War.

                               “If I had died over there I would have been remembered for ever,

                                    but I survived and my name may never be known”

All but three of the 37 people honoured in this new Book returned after the War, so this more recent quote says  a great deal about this tribute to those who fought for what we all enjoy today.

One special guest at the launch event was Hazel Bishop (nee Duke) who attended with others of her family.

Hazel is now 93 years old but was just 15 years old when he elder brother John Allan Duke went off to War.

She remembers it well as they were both still young and living on the family farm at “Creeklands” when John enlisted and went to serve with 2/15 Australian Infantry Battalion in the middle east where he was one of the “Rats of Tobruk” fighting the War in North Africa.

John Dukes sister Hazel later married into the Bishop family of Toorbul, whose son Maurice had also served in WW1.

Hazel Bishop was presented with a copy of the ANZAC book titled “They Answered the Call” which contains a photo of her brother John Duke as a young soldier, and beside it her own photo all these years later at the age of 93.

Hazel and her family were very moved by these memories of her brother, and of the other few families that lived on Bribie and surrounds all those years ago.

During World War 2 most of the civilian residents of Bribie were evacuated and the Island was occupied by Army and Navy service men and women operating critical defence Guns and Lookouts, Submarine Detection and a large Training Camp at Sandstone Point for Australian and US Troops.

 Photo Supplied - HAZEL BISHOP (age 93) and Researcher DONNA HOLMES.

 Photo Supplied - JOHN ALLAN DUKE beside the Photo of Hazel pointing to her Brother in book

Some  early pioneer families are remembered with Streets named after them that many people know, but may not appreciate their significance.

Likewise with the names of Public Parks that give no explanation as to who these people were, or what their contribution was to early years of Bribie Island.

There was a very limited printing of the new Book specifically for families, Libraries and Government Archives. If you are interested in buying a copy or would  like to know more about any aspect of Bribie History  you can contact the Society on or view numerous articles and photos on our blog site

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