POSTCARDS from Michael Innes's grandfather from the French battlefields during World War I are among the Kiama Council staffer's most treasured possessions.
The postcards, which are in fact photographs, will be scanned at Kiama Library next month during the library's World War I Scanathon to be part of online collection Illawarra Remembers.
Being held on Tuesday, September 10, from 2pm-5pm, the event is part of the anniversary of the start of World War I. The library is inviting the community to bring in priceless family history in the form of images, postcards, documents and diaries.
The mementoes will be photographed or scanned and added to the new online resource, which will be developed as the website illawarraremembers.com.
Mr Innes said he was delighted when he saw the advertisement for the Scanathon.
"When I saw this advertised I thought it was a great opportunity to do something with the treasured postcards my late grandfather, Harry Townsend, sent from the war front in France in the First World War," he said.
"He left Australia in 1916 at the age of 21 and served in Villers-Bretonneaux in the Army Medical Corps. Many of his postcards were images of him and his fellow medics on the front line.
"However, when he came home he was suffering from shell-shock and was a totally different person and never spoke much about his experiences, only saying he had too many bad memories of what had happened."
Kiama Library's information services librarian Ken Donnellan said Illawarra Remembers was a partnership between Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong councils, the University of Wollongong, the Illawarra Family History Group, the state government and the Library Council of NSW.
"Ultimately this online collection will be launched to mark the centenary of World War I and linked to resources at the State Library of NSW and the Australian War Memorial," Mr Donnellan said.
The Illawarra Remembers blog at illawarraremembers.com houses engaging stories relating to World War I in the local area.
For further information contact Ken Donnellan at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Kiama Library on 4233 1133.