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Joan Edwards authorIf 60 is the new 40, then I think 80 must be the new 60.

My mother is busily working on her new book ‘Mums, Children and Mustard Gas’ a history of the Blue Mountains during WW2.

She started researching this topic five years ago and rarely have my sister or I spoken with her over that period when she didn’t surprise us with yet another interesting fact that she had uncovered – sometimes literally.

Mum is an ex-teacher who has written on many historical and geographical topics over the course of her career for publishers such as Oxford University Press and others; so she is no newcomer to the job. She has also done a heck of a lot of work on researching our family history in her typically thorough manner, as only a historian would do.

Mums children and mustard gasSo, when it came to thinking about what to get for her for her 80th birthday, I decided to give her what every 80 year old would want’ a new website. A website that she could use to promote her new book, to share tips for people researching family history in Australia and to be a platform that she can also share some examples of the work she has done on our own ancestors.

I spent all of two full days putting it together for her at

Best of luck with the new book and happy 80th mum.

My mums new book, ‘Mums, Children & Mustard Gas” covers a wide range of topics from the well known brown outs and rationing to strikes at the small arms factory, plane crashes, German spies, secret mustard gas stores, gun emplacements, air raid shelters, evacuations, a US troop hospital and much, much more.

If you’d like to be notified when the book is available, you’ll find a spot to add your email address on her new site at Blue Mountains Family History.