It was a pleasure to meet with author and historian George Franki on Friday. I am reading his book on Australia’s most decorated soldier Mad Harry published in 2003 but more recently he has produced a fine work remembering Mosman’s dead in the Great War.
At the outbreak of war, residents threw themselves – says “Jack” Carroll – “into whatever way they were best able to do their share.”
Some 1,140 of the younger residents voluntarily enlisted for Service overseas. The Mosman Red Cross was outstanding, so much so that their leader was honoured with an M.B.E. decoration. So too, was Mrs. Bennett White (Meta Hayter), organiser of a Concert Troupe of young girls to be known as “The Cheer-ohs”. This band of versatile entertainers in the four years of War and eight years afterwards, raised no less than a sum of £55,000 for the various patriotic and repatriation funds…
An article from New Zealand newspaper The Feilding Star, 17 September 1917. A remarkable story, but also a reminder that the excellent resources of New Zealand’s cultural institutions can be just as useful for researching Australian service men and women. This story, for example, does not appear to be archived in Trove.
The third and last of the ‘main Memorials erected in the Municipality’ with a WWI connection has an appropriately prominent Harbour position at Bradleys Head.
It remembers the first engagement at sea during the Great War in which a ship of the Royal Australian Navy took part. Survivors of the “SYDNEY”-“EMDEN” action were present on the day it was formally instituted as a permanent memorial on 24 November 1934.