Wednesday 12 October 2016

The Notebook.

We receive many requests for information in Local Studies, and answers to many of these queries are often found in our pamphlet files. I always love to open a file and find a facsimile of notes from Jim Munro's notebooks, written in his neat cursive script. His contribution to our knowledge of the history of Campbelltown is immeasurable.

A sample of Jim's notebook entries

James Bertram Munro was born on the 28th April 1925, in Trangie, New South Wales, to parents Henry Walter and Irene Claire. He enlisted in Victoria on the 2nd June 1943, having just turned 18, whilst serving in the Citizens Military Forces. He had previously been working as a postal assistant for the PMG. Initially he served as a Signalman in the 13th Australian Linesman section at Bonegilla Army Camp and Balcombe Army Camp, both in Victoria. He then served in the Pacific in Morotai and Balikpapan. He suffered from pneumonia whilst overseas and was returned to Australia in February 1946, and was eventually discharged from the army in June 1946 suffering from rheumatic carditis.
James Bertram Munro, enlistment photo.
In 1951 Jim married Joan Annabel Chambers. They moved to Campbelltown in 1957 to raise their family of three children, Dennis, Ann and Judy. Jim had a passion for history, and joined the Campbelltown & Airds Historical Society a couple of years later. He was particularly interested in bushrangers, the Boer War, war memorials, and St John's Parish. He was the author of the book "Where Pioneers Lie : St John's Cemetery Campbelltown" and co-authored the book "Campbelltown and the Boer War, 1899-1902". He recorded headstone inscriptions, not only in local cemeteries but also those he visited whilst travelling, he donated photographs to the collections of both the CAHS and the Campbelltown Library, and he wrote copious notes about many subjects pertaining to the Campbelltown area. Jim was awarded a Life Membership of the CAHS in 1984, the Campbelltown Heritage Medallion in 1999 and a Certificate of Achievement by the Royal Australian Historical Society in 2001.
Personally Jim was described as much admired, a thorough gentleman, and having a cheeky sense of humour. He passed away on October 19th, 2001, at the age of 76, and was buried in his beloved St John's Cemetery.

Jim with an old Boer War Medal, 1997

Written by Claire Lynch

Grist Mills Vol 14 No.3, Vol.15 No.3, Vol.12 No.3&4
Macarthur Advertiser 24.10.2001
National Archives of Australia Service Records

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