Anzac Memorial Hall, Mosman

Bernard, 10 July 2012 · # ·

The final chapter of Jack Carroll’s The Streets of Mosman lists the ‘five main Memorials erected in the Municipality.’ Three were built in response to the Great War, the first being Anzac Memorial Hall.

Erected in Military Road in 1922 to plans drawn by the late W. de Putron, Architect. Public subscriptions and the proceeds of many Entertainments provided the initial funds.

In the Depression year – 1930 – many calls were made on its revenue. Other difficulties were the deaths of Trustees and Guarantors, and the lack of permanent succession of Executive ownership. It was found that a special Act of Parliament was necessary to remedy the latter.

In 1933, however, a very energetic committee was formed, consisting of the Soldiers’ League, the Council, and the Citizens, and ultimately gained its objective – the freeing of the Hall from all financial burden.

So much devoted work has been put into the affairs of this Memorial down the years, that the writer considers its history is worthy of an article of its own and that it cannot be adequately recounted in a brief one such as this. Also that some person, who has been more intimately associated with the Memorial since its inception (and there are many) could better portray the arduous work done, resulting in the present [1948] great “Shrine of Remembrance” to the Soldiers of the two World Wars.

Carroll, Jack & Mosman Historical Society 1981, The streets of Mosman, 2nd rev. ed, Mosman Historical Society, [Sydney]


A service for the dedication and official opening of the Mosman Anzac Memorial Hall was held yesterday afternoon, the building being declared open by the Governor-General (Lord Forster), who was accompanied by Lady Forster. The Mayor of Mosman (Alderman P. Burrows) presided, and others present included the Chief Justice (Sir William Cullen), Judge Curlewis, Major-General Sir Granville Ryrie, M.P., and Dr. Arthur and Mr. W. Scott Fell, Ms.L.A.

Lieutenant-Colonel J. H. Phipps, D.S.O. (president of the Mosman sub-branch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ League) said that the cost of the hall was £10,000. When completed the building, with the land, would be worth £15,000.

The Governor-General said that it gave Lady Forster and himself real pleasure to assist in the opening of the hall. The foundation stone of the building was one of the first of many he had had the privilege of laying, and he took a constant interest in all the efforts being made to provide for the welfare of the Diggers. It was a still greater pleasure to know that the constant and devoted efforts of the people of Mosman to provide a fitting memorial to the soldiers of the district had met with such conspicuous success. “I know how much we owe to Australia’s gallant manhood,” said the Governor-General, “and how much they owe to Australia’s fine womanhood, during the war.” He paid a tribute to those who fell, and whose names are inscribed on the walls at the entrance to the hall. The same spirit of love of country animated all those who served, and he hoped that the names of those who went abroad and returned would be recorded as well as those who fell. Lord Forster added that the memorlals erected throughout Australia would not only serve to commemorate the services of those who went to the war, but would inspire future generations with the splendid spirit they possessed.

The Governor-General referred to the forthcoming conference of the International Council of Women, and to the endeavour that was to be made to avoid the causes of war. The ideal was a great one, and support should be accorded those who are striving to reach that goal.

1924 ‘MOSMAN SOLDIERS.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 5 May, p. 9, viewed 10 July, 2012,

1924 ‘MOSMAN ANZAC MEMORIAL HALL.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 6 May, p. 12, viewed 10 July, 2012,

There is much more to the story of this building. What do you know? What do you remember?


Donna Braye · 12 July 2012 · #

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A brief history of Anzac Memorial Hall

Opened in 1922 The Anzac Memorial Hall was designed by architects, William De Putron and David Thomas Morrow. Public Subscriptions provided the funds for the hall. Upstairs were rooms available for use by Mosman Sub-branch of the Returned Sailors’ Soldiers’ and Airmens’ League of Australia.

From 1928 until 1932 the Third Church of Christ, Scientist held services in the downstairs hall. At other times this area was known as the White Star Dance Hall.

In 1934 The Kings Cinema leased the hall and cinema architect, Guy Crick, designed a 540 seat auditorium to fit within the hall while still maintaining the rooms for the soldiers’ club. From 1937 to 1939 the cinema was run by Rex Cinemas. In 1941 it re-opened for a short time only to finally close in 1945.

In 1975 the Mosman Returned Serviceman’s Club built new premises on the opposite side of Military Road and the old building was leased to Jim Zemancheft. After making internal alterations to create small shop spaces, Zemancheft opened Portobello Antique Centre. In 1991 the hall was sold to the fashion house Country Road, the façade was remodelled, iron door grilles installed and internal alterations were made.

Morrow and De Putron Architects

An article in the journal, Building, described the work of Morrow and De Putron as having ‘a personality … which stamps it as emanating from the one office, particularly in the purity of design, with its strictly modern feeling in being useful, as well as decorative’1.

It was this type of contemporary appreciation of the work of the firm Morrow & De Putron that led to their popularity and success. However, an added attraction could have been the fact that one of their major clients was Hordern retail family.

By 1910, a year after they entered into partnership, De Putron and Morrow were able to put their names to a number of new buildings and in February 1915 they made their first building application to Mosman Council. This was for additions to ‘Tudor’ in Mandolong Road, the home of Mrs Louisa Bull, the wife of Nathaniel George Bull II, a cousin of Samuel Hordern II. In May 1916, they submitted a building application for a house for Mr Jay of Wharf Road (now Burrawong Avenue) following in July 1916 with an application for a house in Mandolong Road also for Mrs Louisa Bull.

Morrow and De Putron designed over 40 buildings in Mosman during the next eleven years. These included new buildings and alterations to existing residential and commercial buildings.

Major works included the returned servicemen’s housing in Bay Street, 1919, the ANZAC Memorial Hall, Military Road, 1922, and ‘Fetherston’s Hall’, The Esplanade, Balmoral, 1923.

William De Putron

De Putron was born in Darlington, Sydney in 1872. He was articled to R. Clarence Backhouse in 1891 before working at J. Wildridge & Sinclair, Engineers and then Robertson & Marks, Architects. In 1909, he entered into a partnership with David Thomas Morrow.

In 1908 De Putron had filled a ‘vacancy on Darlington Council’, becoming Mayor in 1912.

In 1911 De Putron married Alice Humphries, moved to Mosman where lived until his death in 1946. He opened his own practice in 1927 and served as an Alderman on Mosman Council from 1919-1928.

David Thomas Morrow

Morrow was born in 1871 and articled in 1891 to Morrell & Kemp, Architects. In 1896 he married Caroline Horn and served as Mayor of Redfern Council. In 1897 he opened his own firm, D. T. Morrow and from 1909 to 1927 was in partnership with De Putron, Percy James Gordon accepted as a third partner in 1921.

After De Putron left, Morrow and Gordon continued to practice and were responsible for two famous Sydney landmarks, the Grace Building in 1930 and in 1939 the AWA Building in York Street.

1 What does the future hold for Australian Architecture. Review of the work of the new generation of Australian Architects. Building 12 January 1910 p58 – 65