Tunnel Rats – The larrikin Aussie legends who discovered the Vietcong’s secret weapon

Tunnel Rats – The larrikin Aussie legends who discovered the Vietcong’s secret weapon

By Jimmy Thomson with Sandy MacGregor

Book review by Robert Lindsay

At a time when we remember the bravery of our World War I soldiers, it’s important to recognise the courage of our armed forces in other conflicts. Amongst our bravest soldiers were the men of 3 Filed Troop, who fought the Vietcong in Vietnam. These men were sappers (engineers) who were sent, with other Australian soldiers to Ho Bo woods, north of Saigon, an area believed to contain the Southern Command Headquarters of the enemy. Air strikes and artillery bombardments failed to dislodge the enemy, who remarkably regrouped every time. It was then that the men discovered the Vietcong had excavated an immense labyrinth of tunnels that spread for kilometres in all directions. The men of 3 Filed Troop penetrated these tunnels, going further than any western troops had previously gone, thus earning the title of Tunnel Rats. Imagine their predicament in entering confined, dark, booby-trapped tunnels, edging their way forward with battery powered lamps, a revolver in one hand and a bayonet in the other. They displayed unparalleled valour. This is their story.


Tunnel Rats

I carried the teapot my sister carried the cat

‘I carried the Teapot My sister carried the Cat: A Collection of Women’s stories, poems & artwork’

‘I carried the Teapot My sister carried the Cat: A Collection of Women’s stories, poems & artwork’ 

Book review submitted by Kay Shirt

Complied by Louise Dean and published by Lithgow Community Projects

This is another gem from the library’s Local History section, well worth a look and a read. This book is beautifully illustrated with photographs and artwork. The collection of writings varied in style and with a full range of emotions and experiences recounted. The library has two copies available for borrowing at Lithgow and one copy at both Portland and Wallerawang branches.

In the words of the complier

These are the stories of ‘ordinary women’. Ordinary women who contribute so much to our society, often with little or no recognition. Here are expressions of strength, courage, love, sadness, heartache, triumph and joy.

The talent of everyone of these women is incredible.

We are honoured that everyone who contributed to this book had enough faith in us that they were prepared to share their heartfelt and innermost thoughts, and trusted us to treat their work with the regard and respect it so rightly deserves.

Without trust there would be no book. Thank you

I carried the teapot my sister carried the cat



Robogals Come to the Library!

Not unlike librarians, computer programmers face their own stereotypes – big glasses, nerdy clothes, loners; the list goes on! However more and more programming is a must-have skill for our technologically driven future.

Now both boys and girls who are interested in science and engineering have an opportunity to learn more about these fields at the Library, to see what is involved, satisfy their curiosity and explore the possibilities that lie in their future.

Designed to attract more girls to study these fields at university, Robogals is a volunteer program run by UNSW students who host free sessions on computer programming and electronics. On Saturday 15 August a session will take place at the Lithgow Library Learning Centre from 11.30am to 2.30pm and is BYO lunch.

This session, offered for both boys and girls, will focus on learning how to use Python programming and is available to ages 10 plus. Places are extremely limited as only two children per computer can be accommodated. Children can bring their own devices to use during this session. Please advise the library when booking on 6352 9100.

“The fields of computer programming and electronics are growing and will be employing an ever greater number of our children in the future. This program will provide an insight into some of the very many possibilities available to them and help to ensure that girls have the same opportunities as boys,” says Lithgow City Council Deputy Mayor Ray Thompson.

Providing a range of quality exhibitions and community programs that offer educational and social opportunities for all members of the community is part of Council’s Caring for the Community Strategy in the Community Strategic Plan 2026.


Terry O’Keefe 
Library Manager
Tel: 02 6352 9100
Fax: 02 6351 4364


WW1 Diary

World War I Artefacts Coming to Lithgow

Extraordinary World War One artefacts, including the personal diary of a serviceman from Lithgow drawn from the State Library of NSW’s renowned collections, are heading to Lithgow for a special curator talk and preservation workshop at Lithgow Library.

On Tuesday 18 August from 11.00am to 12.00pm, Lithgow Library Learning Centre will host a free public talk with the State Library’s World War One Curator Elise Edmonds who will talk about the material and share the fascinating story of how the State Library acquired its first collection of soldiers’ diaries.

Lithgow City Council Mayor Maree Statham said “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Lithgow community to gain an understanding of the wealth of collections held in the State Library of NSW without having to make a journey to Sydney. I urge residents to book quickly as there will be a large demand for this very special event”.

According to NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive Alex Byrne, “This will be the first time these remarkable and historically significant items, which are held in the State Library’s rich collections, will be shown in Lithgow as part of our World War One Touring Program.”

The diary of Howard Arthur Delaney, a telegraph operator from Lithgow, came to the Library in 2012. He enlisted in the A.I.F. on 1 August 1917, aged 19, and served with the 1st Signal Squadron in Egypt. He returned to Australia on 26 July 1919. “Visitors to Lithgow Library Learning Centre can read some of the powerful excerpts from Mr Delaney’s diary,” said Elise Edmonds.

As part of the State Library’s touring program, a conservator from the State Library will present a practical workshop on preserving your family history collections, including letters, journals and photographs. The free workshop will be held at the Lithgow Library Learning Centre from 2.00pm-3.00pm on Tuesday 18 August. Bookings are essential and can be made by contacting Lithgow library on 63529100.  Spaces are limited to 20 people.

Lithgow Library Learning Centre is excited to be partnering with the State Library of NSW to bring this touring program to the Lithgow community as part of its commitment to provide learning opportunities and quality library programs which meet the needs of the community in Lithgow City Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2026.WW1 Diary