• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0458

Darling, Honor Brinsley

(1918 – 2000) Section Officer Evelyn Ferrier and Section Officer Honor Darling
  • Born 25 March, 1918, Sydney New South Wales Australia
  • Died 22 June, 2000
  • Occupation Journalist, Servicewoman


Honor Darling was a journalist who played a significant role in the Girl Guide Movement in Australia. She held various roles, including that of local publicity officer and ultimately, Chair of the Australian Publications Committee. Whilst a member of the armed services (the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force) she edited the members’ magazine.


Margaret Coleman wrote the following for the Girl Guide Movement of New South Wales following the death of Honor Darling:

Vale Honor Darling

Honor, whose typewriter could spell much better than mine: Honor who taught me about editing and magazines; who always knew where to put the commas, who was a wonderful help and support as well as a great personal friend through many publications: Honor you will be missed.

Always with an inquiring mind, Honor needed to know how and why. Words and writing were important to her. A journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald until she joined the WAAAF in 1942 serving until wars’ end in 1945 where one of her many duties was to edit a magazine for the WAAAF girls.

While her two sons and daughter Barbara progressed through Scouting and Guiding, Honor became publicity officer and then president of the Local Association in the 1960s and 1970s during a very busy time when, with the assistance of Rotary, the Epping Guide Hall was built.

At the same time the New South Wales Association claimed Honor’s expertise when she was appointed chairman of the State Public Relations Committee and edited The Waratah from 1966 to 1976. During this time she attended two national editors conferences, in Hobart and Adelaide.

The next five years were very busy with publications. From 1976 Honor was chairman of the Australian Publications Committee when new handbooks were introduced especially for Australian girls and leaders. Members who have been around a while, will remember how first the U.K. handbooks were adapted, one each for Brownie, Guides and Rangers and then a few years later, a complete re-write for Australia was undertaken. Honor oversaw all these publications plus the first handbook for Leaders and commissioners and another edition of PO&R as well, Gwen Swinburn’s excellent history Among The First People which required a good deal of attention.

Then followed a spate of history books: Up Till Now 1980; The Glengarry Book 1983, updated 1993; Blue and Gold: The Story Told 1986; From a Flicker to a Flame 1989; The Story of RTS Tingira 1994. In each of these Honor had an editorial hand.

Two non Guiding publications attributed to Honor Darling are The WAAAF Book 1984, co-edited with Clare Stevenson and This is Pymble College 1991, when again Honor greatly assisted myself.

In retirement Honor became patron of the Local Association (Support Group) at Muswellbrook and secretary of the Red Cross for that region. For the last five years Honor has lived in Melbourne with her daughter Barbara who is Vicar of the Anglican Church in Sandringham.


Published resources

  • Book
    • From a flicker to a flame : the story of the Girl Guides in Australia, Coleman, Margaret and Darling Honor, 1989
    • Blue and gold, the story told: A brief history of the Girl Guides Association in Australia, Coleman, Margaret and Honor Darling, 1986
  • Edited Book
    • The W.A.A.A.F. book, Stevenson, Clare and Darling, Honor, c1984
  • Resource

Archival resources

  • National Archives of Australia, National Office, Canberra
    • DARLING HONOR BRINSLEY : Service Number - 351182 : Date of birth - 25 Mar 1918 : Place of birth - SYDNEY NSW : Place of enlistment - MELBOURNE : Next of Kin - DARLING J
  • Australian War Memorial, Research Centre
    • Informal portrait of Section Officer Honor B. Darling, WAAAF, with her brother Leading Aircraftman David Sheridan.
    • Portrait of Section Officer Honor B. Darling, WAAAF
    • Section Officer Evelyn Ferrier (left) and Section Officer Honor Darling participating in an aircraft recognition exercise at RAAF Station Laverton

Digital resources

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) (1941 - 1947)
  • Membership
    • Girl Guides Australia (1926 - )