History is my Passion!
Australian Military history has always held a great interest for me, in particular stories of individuals and their experience in wartime. As an amateur family historian I have researched and written unpublished accounts about my father’s wartime experiences in the RAAF in World War 2, my father-in-law’s service as a member of the RAAF and POW, and my wife’s grandfather and daughter-in-law’s great grandfather, both of whom served as members of the 37th Battalion on the Western Front in World War 1.
I served on the Committee of Military History and Heritage Victoria (MHHV) from 2011 – 2014 and was the convenor of two major conferences staged at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook. These conferences were concerned with Australian Air Power in both World War 1 and World War 2 and involved leading Australian writers, academics and researchers as well as the RAAF Historian. In 2016 I was invited to address the MHHV Military History Speaker Program series and took the opportunity to talk about the Lyle Buntine story, ‘Empire’s Noble Son.’ A review can be read on this link.https://www.mhhv.org.au/a-noble-son-falln-to-earth-a-review-of-the-presentation-by-dr-daryl-moran/.
I re-joined the MHHV Committee in 2022 and am the Conference Convenor for the organisation’s 15th One Day Conference in May 2023 entitled ‘1943 – Australia and the Pacific War; The Tide Turns.’
On several occasions, I have been fortunate enough to be invited to address Remembrance and Anzac Day school assemblies at Caulfield Grammar School. In 2016 I spoke at a luncheon of the school’s oldest former students on the topic ‘Forgotten stories of Caulfield and Malvern Grammarians in the First World War.’ You might like to also look at it on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDNRDZ9onG4&t=71s .
I have had a particular fascination with the Lyle Buntine ‘Empire’s Noble Son’ story since I first came into contact with the Buntine Collection of letters, papers and artefacts in 1992. The Buntine family had lovingly cherished the material, but felt it was time for ‘Lyle to return home’ and so they gifted the material to Caulfield Grammar School, which has done a splendid job of preserving, collating and storing the Buntine Collection. The school has been extremely generous in allowing me complete access to the archival material and I hope that in telling Lyle’s story, the family and school are well pleased with the result. Lyle was such a prolific, capable and insightful writer that my task merely became one of providing background material and then having to ‘jigsaw’ the many elements of the story together. Given that by mid-1917 and just a few short months before his untimely death, he had compiled many notes and stories to produce his own publication, he greatly lamented the loss of all of these papers when most of his luggage was lost after his ship was torpedoed. I hope that he would be well pleased, that his story as I have told it in ‘Empire’s Noble Son,’ does him true justice and pays due honour to his short, heroic life.
‘Rest from thy labours, Dear Lyle, well done!’
(A line from a poem written in tribute to him published in the June 1917 edition of the CGS magazine)