A weathered sandstone plaque in the modern boundary wall facing the road at 71 Bay Street is one of the few reminders that this block – labelled Lot 43 in Mosman Council’s 1917 Building Register – was home to six weatherboard cottages built by the Mosman branch of the Voluntary Workers Association for disabled servicemen and war widows.
Mosman Library’s Local Studies Librarian Donna Braye has researched the stone plaque, and the cottages, which were designed by a local architect, William De Putron of Clifford Street. Today the cottages would be numbers 67 to 77 Bay Street.
|Levy, Henry – Pte 1st Battalion||Mount St Quentin|
| Huntington, George Thomas – Pte 3rd Battalion
Parrott, Harris Frank, Cpl 6th ASC, was in Huntington’s house at one stage
|Phillips, James Wainwright – Pte 20th Battalion||Ferndale|
|Felton, Edward Samuel – Pte 17 Battalion||Cremorne Cottage|
|Stevens, Walter Stevens – Pte 51st Battalion||Robinsville|
|Avis (Charles Samuel or Cecil Stanley)? – 20th Battalion||Athurville|
Further information is available in the Local Studies Collection although we hope to learn more about these soldiers and their families. Perhaps you can help.
But first, Donna has added a couple of oral histories to Mosman Voices that give us a perspective from two of the children of the limbless soldiers, Violet Peters (nee Phillips) and John Carruthers.
Violet Peter’s interview is a chatty, funny and moving collection of memories about growing up in her much loved Beauty Point after the First World War. Her father, a returned soldier from the First World War, was able to buy one of the houses built for injured soldiers in Bay Street down at Beauty Point.
This interview, and that of John Carruther’s, provides a wonderful description of these significant houses which are no longer standing. Violet gives a room by room description of her house and a house by house description the families who lived in the other servicemen weatherboard cottages.
Violet recalls how her father was injured in France. “He was buried for a long time before they dug him out and put him on the stretcher to take him to the hospital with a broken leg, but they let him slip off the stretcher and it injured his leg beyond repair and he lost it. He had an artificial leg. Finally he was on a pretty good level, but he was difficult.”