Edgeworth David Museum assists with research for Pelaw Main Public School World War I memorial pillars centenary project

HISTORY: Back, Coalfields Heritage Group volunteers Margaret Summerville and Brian Andrews, and at front, Pelaw Main students Eliza, Reegan and Andie Summerville.
HISTORY: Back, Coalfields Heritage Group volunteers Margaret Summerville and Brian Andrews, and at front, Pelaw Main students Eliza, Reegan and Andie Summerville.

The centenary of Pelaw Main Public School’s World War I memorial pillars is fast approaching.

The school will hold a ceremony on November 24 – 100 years to the day since the pillars were unveiled.

The pillars were built as a tribute to the school’s ex-pupils and the Pelaw Main citizens who had gone to serve in the war.

Volunteers from Coalfields Heritage Group’s Edgeworth David Museum have put hundreds of hours of research into compiling a book that will be presented to the school in recognition of the centenary.

The book contains a basic record of each of the 113 names listed on the pillars, plus another 14 they have discovered through their research.

Museum volunteer Margaret Summerville decided to get involved in the project because she has grandchildren who attend Pelaw Main Public School.

“It’s of interest to the kids, and will be a great reference for the school for future generations,” she said.

Built by Browne Monumental Works, Maitland at a cost of 60 pounds, the pillars were unveiled on November 24, 1917.

The Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate reported that a a great gathering from all parts of the Newcastle and Maitland districts attended the unveiling.

Anyone with further information or photographs relating to the pillars is encouraged to contact the school on 4937 1314 or pelawmain-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au, or contact Edgeworth David Museum on 4937 4418.