The telegram was discovered by Peter Plowman — a volunteer with the local Peterborough History Group.
Mr Plowman spent his working life in printing businesses and did not know why telegram was kept.
PHOTO: Peter Plowman found the telegram while cleaning the Peterborough printing shop. (ABC News: Patrick Martin)
The unlikely find had special significance for the printing buff.
“I had a grandfather that fought at Somme for England, so the telegram has a significance for me as well as the print shop and the local community,” Mr Plowman said.
Lieutenant Colonel David Edmonds unveiled the carefully restored telegram at a public ceremony at Peterborough. Lt. Colonel Edmonds said the find had significance for the whole region.
“Our information is that the local regiment was the 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment — they formed the 9th Light Horse [Regiment] in the First World War — it was the second light horse regiment to be raised here in South Australia,” Lt Colonel Edmonds said.
“All through the mid north of South Australia, from Peterborough to Port Pirie, Port Augusta all the way down to Kadina and Clare, the 9th Light Horse Regiment drew its soldiers who went away in the First World War.”
“It’s a very important piece of local history and Australian history, too.”
He said it was an honour to unveil the telegram as a former commander of the 3rd/9th Light Horse Regiment, which still existed in Adelaide.
He said the battle — which left more than one million dead and wounded across all sides — represented the last German offensive of the war.
PHOTO: Lieutenant Colonel David Edmonds stands beside the 100-year-old telegram. (ABC News: Patrick Martin)
“The telegram shows that the Germans were still well and truly on the front foot.”
“It was shortly thereafter that the war turned in the Allies’ favour.”
He said the war impacted communities throughout Australia “for decades after the war”.