Helens Wonderful Wagga Kangaroos Banner

My friend Helen is a whiz with fabrics. Her main area of expertise is quilting and she runs patchwork & quilting classes.

In 2015 we will commemorate the centenary of Gallipoli and there will be a re-enactment of the Wagga Wagga Kangaroos 1915 recruitment march. Helen was asked by the organising committee to recreate the banner that was carried in the original march. After sourcing an historic photo she used software to create a huge poster. This comprised some 54 A4 sheets and formed the basis of the banner template.

All the pieces were sewn in place as applique on a standard domestic sewing machine. The banner took over 100 hours to complete over a period of ten weeks. You can see the extraordinary amount of detail from the photographs.

The banner was presented to the Honorable Dr Brendan Nelson who is the patron of the historic march. The banner is also to feature in the 2015 Anzac Day March.

The Australian War Memorial will also include images of the banner on its website.

For more information on Helen’s classes go to www.patchworkbliss.com.au



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Completed Banner

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Helen completes the final touches


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Banner detail 1

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Banner detail 2

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Banner detail 3






  1. MKImages November 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Author : Stewart Beattie
    Comment: Congratulations to you Helen for a fine banner for the reenactment! And of course to all your helpers. Amazingly, in my family the males were either too young or too old to have been combatants in the Great War, though my late father Stiven wore his cadet uniform and with his brothers Oswald, Val, Russel and his mother Elizabeth and Dad John, I know they all collected for one of the various ‘war funds’ around Gisborne (Vic) where they resided on Gisborne Park.

    In writing of this period I have recently collected a lot of material of the period as it effected everyone on the Barkly Tableland (NT), as my great uncle Walter Beattie was on Alroy Downs and Eva Downs in those years. The late Bill Harney, (author of many books) worked as a lad on Alroy Downs for Walter just before he enlisted at Burketown (Qld) and soon sailed off to Egypt and then served first at Gallipoli – then France. But I’ve digressed….again.

    I see you and your organisation are intending to assemble on Sunday 7 December 2013 – Sunday week – for the first time.

    This day holds ( i hope) a special significance for all Australians and me, doubly so; I’m sure you are aware that it was on the 7th December 1941, that the Japanese Imperial Forces attacked the Australian forces on the Malay peninsular that day so beginning the Pacific campaign of WW-II, and of course they bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

    It so happens that my Dad was at that time deployed with the 2/5th Field Artillery and had been kept-back because Cmdr Nave and his group knew of the impending attack by Japan. While the rest of his mates and the 2/5th had been shipped to the Middle East. While in the early hours of that very day – 7 December 1941, my dear late mum was delivered of a son in the Wollundry Hospital at Narrandera – your correspondent.

    As you will now realise, I’m probably a bit long in the tooth to participate in your march. But I would love to have done so…

    But my thoughts and best wishes are with you all, and God bless, keep the spirit alive!

    • Helen Draper December 2, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      Hello Stewart

      Thank you for comments. All wars have affected us, one way or another, whether or not we have been directly involved. Both my grandfathers enlisted in the First World War and my father was in the Occupational Forces of the Second World War. I grew up knowing very little about what they actually experienced. Making the banner inspired me to research their war histories. The banner took over 100 hours to make, and as I stitched each tiny stitch I thought of the sacrifices and hardships that were endured not only by those who served, but also their families.
      The 7th December is a significant day for many reasons and I wish you a happy birthday for that day as well.

      Kindest regards
      Helen Draper

  2. Helen Draper June 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Fantastic photos, Mark!
    The detail is superb.
    Thank you for the kind words & promo.

    • MKImages June 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

      my pleasure, hope you get good publicity for your work!

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