Telling 'The War Hero'

One morning I was driving back along Paramatta Road towards home in Leichhardt, Sydney after doing a couple of performances at preschools in one of the western suburbs. I was listening to an interview on Radio National on the ABC.

It was a good interview with an author of a recently published book about growing up in a small country town in central west New South Wales and, to finish it off, the interviewer asked the author to tell one of his stories. Well my ears pricked up immediately. The author - Bill 'Swampy' Marsh - told one called ' The War Hero'. He did a great job and I loved the story.

I decided that I just had to ask Bill Marsh for permission to tell the story.

I went out and bought a copy of the book - 'Beckom (pop. 64)', Hudson Publishing,1988 - and found the publisher's address. I sent off a letter that night and in a very short time got permission to tell the story. It turns out that Bill Marsh is a storyteller working in schools in South Australia like myself and was more then happy for me to tell his story. I can't remember whether he rang me or I rang him but we had a really nice rave about storytelling.

Well I learnt the story really easily - it flowed off the pages like it wanted to be told. I still tell the War Hero - mainly to adult audiences - and enjoy it just as much as when I first heard it. It's told from the view point of the young and naive 'Swampy' Marsh. I enjoy that young boy energy.

I find it interesting that I only tell that one story out of Bill's collection of delightful stories in the book. It's not that the other stories aren't good - they are. Storytelling is like that.

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Storytelling in Australia

Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller
P.O. Box 5300, West End, Q4101, 
Brisbane, Australia
Tel. 61 (0)7 3846 3135
Mob. 0417 478408
All contents copyright (C) 2001, Daryll Bellingham. All rights reserved.
Last update: 26th August, 2003.
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