Tarrawingee 75th Anniversary Memorial Service

A large crowd, including many descendants of the 10 firefighters killed in the 1943 Tarrawingee fire, attended the 75th Anniversary Memorial Service held on Saturday 22 December 2018.


CFA Chaplain David Poole read a poem written by the late local poet and firefighter Don Kneebone about the tragic day in 1943.

The monument that stands by the way

by Don Kneebone

There was very little snow, the rivers ran low,

Already many dreams had run dry.

The cattle and sheep, too restless to sleep,

And the locusts had begun to fly.

Yes, well I remember the twenty-second of December,

In nineteen forty-three.

The mercury soared, and the north wind roared,

The branches broke out of the trees.

Then came a message,

A fire had broken away.

It was down about Londrigan

Oh! what a terrible day!

It raced out of the grasslands,

And through the standing crop.

With flames leaping metres high,

Something no man could ever stop.

And it was then, a handful of men,·

Ran clean out of luck.

They tried to turn, for fear they'd burn,

And stalled the old fire truck.

I heard them call,

I heard their screams

For I was there and saw them all.

It still haunts me in my dreams.

I speak of the fire at Tarrawingee.,

And the monument that stands by the way,

That marks the spot where many gallant men,

Gave up their lives that day.

United they stood and did what they could,

With knap-sacks, beaters and rake,

But the flames leapt higher from a windswept fire,

Till they fell and died for their mates' sake.

It left a scar that will never heal,

In the minds of many folk. No matter how hard they try to conceal,

It still shows at the first sign of smoke.

And that's why we've got fire brigades,

And chaps that are ready to go~

The first sign of smoke is never treated as a joke,

Or whenever the siren should blow.

  • A large crowd attended the 75th anniversary Memorial service held on Saturday 22nd December 2018

Author: Craig Hearson