Shire at War covers the social history of the Shire of Alberton (Gippsland, Victoria) in the Great War. It looks at how the local community understood, responded to and was affected by the War. It places the local community’s experience of the War within the broader state, national and imperial settings of the time.

Shire at War explores the tension and division that characterised the community’s response to the War. It looks specifically at the official narrative of the War, the individuals and groups who controlled and disseminated the narrative, and the response of those who were marginalised by the same narrative.

Shire at War also presents an ongoing analysis of all the ‘locals’ who enlisted, a total group of approximately 800. Additionally, and in more detail, it looks at the sub-group of approximately 85 men who were killed in action or died on active service.

Shire at War seeks to move beyond the conventional understanding of, and approach to, the study of local history. It challenges the inherently static and restrictive nature of such history. The uncritical preoccupation with place inevitably compromises social history.

Shire at War recognises that the past is neither simple nor iconic. Rather, the past was and remains as complex and contested as the present.

Shire at War is published to run in parallel with the centenary of World War One.

Shire at War is presented as a blog to maximise the number of people who can access the research.

As a blog based on ongoing research, Shire at War provides for shifts, both subtle and dramatic, in the direction and nature of the research itself. It represents research that is ongoing, evolving and expanding.


The Shire of Alberton, initially based on Port Albert and Alberton, was the locus for European settlement and expansion in Gippsland. By the end of the 19C, Yarram had become the principal town of the Shire. In 1994, the Shire of Alberton was incorporated within the newly created Shire of Wellington.


Adams, J 1990, From these Beginnings: History of the Shire of Alberton (Victoria), Alberton Shire Council, Yarram, Victoria


page revised 10/6/16