Mission to find lost WWI servicemen

At the beginning of the World War I centenary in 2015, Kimba’s Marilyn Koch decided to research the names of the men on Kimba’s World War I Honour Roll but four of these men seem to be lost from present-day Kimba’s memory.

Mrs Koch has been volunteering for the Kimba Historical Society and wanted to know, since Kimba was only proclaimed in 1915, what connection did the 28 men on the honour roll, none of whom enlisted in Kimba, have with the town?

“A number of the names on the Honour Roll didn’t ring bells to me,” Mrs Koch said.

“I want to give them a name, a face and a place in the community.”

Since starting her research, Mrs Koch has found military service records for 23 of the men, and “a very likely record” for another, but four men – M. Cahill, M. Gunning, M. Sheehan and A. Shepley, all from Hundred of Moseley – have eluded her.

“It’s complicated because I only have the first initial and no one enlisted in Kimba,” Mrs Koch said.

“At that time, the district had a lot of labourers doing clearing work and sinking dams.

“So it gets tricky.”

Besides the honour roll, the only written reference to these four men is a list of volunteers in the Eyre Peninsula Tribune published weekly during 1915-19.

“A week before their names appeared on the listing in 1916, there was an article about the sinking of the Moseley Dam,” Mrs Koch said.

“I believe they were itinerant labourers involved with the sinking of the dam.”

Mrs Koch has been trawling through a number of records from Kimba and the Eyre Peninsula Tribune to place the men in Kimba but does not know where else to look.

She is now appealing to the residents Eyre Peninsula for help to find information on these four men.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Mrs Koch on 0429 014 297 or write to PO Box 49, Kimba 5641.