Cyril Barwick

Cyril was interviewed by Neil and Geoff Barwick at the Willow Tree information centre. Cyril was in a talkative mood, and we didn't need to coax him to talk at all, even about his time overseas during world war 2. Often Cyril won't say much about his time overseas during the war.

Cyril was born in a small house, at Green Creek, 6 kilometres from Timor, 23rd of December 1916. This makes Cyril 96 this year. Cyril's father was George Barwick, and his mother was Matilda. George was an exceptionally good woodmaker. He made lots of things from wood, including whip handles. He even was able to make chain links out of solid blocks of wood.

Cyril had 8 other syblings, 5 sisters and 3 brothers. His eldest sister was Adella. Adella married James Winnett, and was the mother of local girls and twins Heather and Kay Winnett. Now Heather Collins and Kay Porter who both live in Quirindi. One of his brothers is Eric Barwick, who was married to Marjorie, and had two sons, Ken and Steven. One of Cyril's other sisters is Sylvia, who married Allan Avard, and had Geoff, Gwen, Cheryl and Cathy.


Cyril attended school at Timor. There were only about 14 to 18 children there at the time.

When Cyril's family moved from Timor to Warrah Creek, Cyril's father George bought the property "Cedar Vale", block 35, from Ivan Barwick, who never married and had no children. Ivan Barwick had drawn the block in the 1912 subdivision. George Barwick ran fine wool on "Cedar Vale" and also grew oats to fatten sheep.

Cyril, and his brother Eric, raising the flag on Australia day, 2012.

Cyril spent many years fighting for Australia in world war two.

On his first deployment, he travelled to the Middle East. On the same ship as Cyril was Glorine Barwick's [ne Ferris] brother Bert Ferris.

Cyril remembers when his entire regiment were all very hungry, just outside the town of Timbuctoo, Western Africa. The Americans had been in town 3 weeks earlier and had played up something terrible. So the Australians weren't allowed into town, and that was where they were supposed to replenish their food supplies. Cyril and the other soldiers he was with killed and boiled up a camel. It was the worst thing he'd ever eaten, and still is, and it took 3 weeks to get the taste out of his mouth.

Cyril spent his time in the Middle East and Africa fighting the Germans and Italians until Darwin was bombed. Once Darwin was bombed, they were ordered home to help defend Darwin and northern Australia from the Japanese. While the trip over to The Middle East was very pleasant aboard a massive navy converted passenger liner, the trip home again was a nightmare. It was a hurridly chartered Indian boat, very small and overcrowded. They had no guns or weapons of any sort and they'd have been a sitting duck to an enemy ship. Cyril and all the rest got so sick on the trip home from sea sickness and crook food that he wished he'd been sunk by the enemy.

Once back in Darwin, Cyril spent 12 months doing general army work, and preparing for an invasion by the Japanese. Once they came back to Adelaide for extra training. On the train trip back to Darwin, Cyril remembers that the train was so overloaded that everyone had to get out on one steep rise and help to push the train up the hill. Then Cyril spent another 17 months in New Guinea, mostly around the Port Morsby area.

2 Years after the war ended, Cyril went to Japan to visit the country, mainly to try to understand the place that these barbaric and cruel people had come from. In Japan he found the Japanese to be the friendliest and most considerate people he had ever met.

Cyril's family continued to farm "Cedar Vale". Later, when Cyrils brothers Victor and Jack took over, Cyril lived and farmed at Borambil Creek.

Cyril was a keen tennis player, and remembers winning the odd competition game, at Willow Tree, Warrah, and Big Jacks Creek tennis courts. Numerous people say that he was an exceptionally tallented player and one of the best in the district at the time. He also played on well into his 70's, when only failing eyesight had him hang up his racket. Cyril also spent countless hours coaching kids tennis lessons.

Cyril moved into Willow Tree to live in 1973. He moved into the same house he lives in now.

Cyril Barwick, at the Warrah centenary, with David Munn.
Cyril Barwick at the Warrah centenary, having a chat with Neil Barwick.

Write a new comment: (Click here)
Characters left: 160
DONE Sending...

Helen Copeland | Reply 07.01.2017 14:00

Congratulations to Cyril Barwick. Great interview and TV birthday coverage. Amazing man.

Kevin & Janet Birchall | Reply 24.12.2015 22:18

Hi to you Cyril,
great to see you and a very happy birthday. You look amazing and we have good nemories of times spent at the tennis courts in Quirindi.

See all comments

| Reply

Latest comments

25.09 | 09:36

Absolutely delighted to come across a part of my direct ancestors history about which I knew very little and shall endeavour to find out more
Thank you Prof. A.

23.09 | 22:23

Very interesting Kelaher family history. Impressive number of trained nursing sisters. Jack lent the Copelands a cream horse, Playboy, in 1950's, ridden by Kate

09.09 | 17:58

Wonderfully informative. Thank goodness for Jane and John Atchison's work

06.09 | 14:33

I am Jack Kelaher and I am proud of my pop, dad and ancestors.

You liked this page