During and after the First World War, returned soldiers from the Western Australian suburb of Subiaco were called upon to speak about their experiences at a range of public events. Few of these speeches were given without a purpose, or by individuals who did not have particular status as an officer or a medal recipient. The reporting of such events was also selective, with newspapers limited in what they could publish due to censorship concerns. Nonetheless, the accounts of speeches given by men associated with a single community demonstrate the value accorded to firsthand stories of war, and reveal how the soldiers themselves fought to retain some control over their personal narratives. This article examines the speeches of several returned soldiers, and considers the home front context in which their battlefield recollections were received. Examining such speeches in the present day permits a more complicated understanding of how one local Australian community and the individuals within it attempted to reconcile their place in global events.