Local History Project Award

Blood, Toil, Tears & Sweat. Remembering the Pakenham District’s WW2 Service Personnel, 1939‒1945

Patrick Ferry with Wally Nye

Berwick‒Pakenham Historical Society & Pakenham RSL, Pakenham, 2020


The title of this book is taken from words used by Winston Churchill to pledge total commitment to victory in the Second World War. Similarly, the Pakenham community was ‘all in’; some sustained their largely rural district, others served overseas, and many supported local patriotic endeavours. Those who responded to Britain’s Call to Arms received grand certificates proclaiming the cause of God, King and Empire.

Produced to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the end of the war, this book is an outstanding example of collaboration, another ‘all in’ effort; the list of contributors fills 7 pages. Patrick Ferry, an archivist, assisted by Wally Nye, has amassed a wealth of documents and images to illustrate text that covers the local and international context and profiles of about 220 men and women who enlisted from the local district or were strongly associated with it. This integration of records into a well-written narrative is an impressive local history project.