This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Westgarthtown & World War 1

Click on the link below to go to the film, not on the image above.

In the comments section of the last post Liz Pidgeon, the Local and Family History Librarian at Yarra Plenty Regional Library, drew my attention to a short film about the people of German descent at Westgarthtown near Epping in Victoria.  It encapsulates the problems caused by xenophobia during WW1.  It is narrated by Adam Zwar.  It runs for 16 minutes and is well worth the time spent.  Westgarthtown & World War 1.


  1. Thank you for sharing this Lenore. My 4 x great-grandparents, Georg Nebel and Anna Dorothea Shultz settled at Westgarthtown, died and were buried there in 1877. Most of their descendants had moved away from the area before WW1 but I am assuming they would have faced the anti German sentiment where-ever they were living.

  2. They probably did suffer from the anti-German sentiment around. In the example of the fellow from Westgarthtown who had a contract with the Broadmeadows camp, there may have been an element of interest in getting that contract themselves. I think the film mentioned self-interest as a possible motive. Businesses seemed to especially suffer from anti-German sentiment, so did individuals going about their business quietly - and even if they had sons away in the war.

  3. Thanks Lenore. This film was shortlisted in the multimedia category in the Victorian Community History Awards 2016 announced last month.

  4. So it did. You've reminded me that there were a number of WW1 projects entered into the Victorian Community History Awards for 2016, so I will do a post on those tomorrow. Thanks you, Liz.