100th Anniversary of Armistice

Published on 09 November 2018

Over the Top Statue

 

There are 86 names listed on the First World War Memorial on the corner of Alexandra Avenue and Prescott Terrace. The stories behind these names are as tragic as they are ordinary, and represent only a small slice of those affected by the war.

History of the Memorial

Letter from the Rose Park Improvement Association, 1918

Letter from the Rose Park Improvement Association to Burnside Council, 1918

In 1918, a group of men who appointed themselves the "Rose Park Improvement Association" pledged £200 towards the planting of trees throughout the area, and in 1919 July 19th was set aside for "Official Peace Day Celebrations", and a ceremony was held on a dais at the junction of the streets. Plaques were affixed to the trees to remember the fallen - it is unknown, in the present day, how an 'association' to the area was declared, but records suggest that those on the roll were either born, schooled or worked in the Burnside area.

The choice of trees as a memorial is particularly poignant - a living, evergreen memorial that must be maintained by those that come after. 

The iconic statue, Over The Top, was commissioned in 1920 and unveiled in 1924 to much local fanfare. The soldier in the statue reaches back to help a friend, referencing the spirit of mateship that has become so associated with Australian forces in the First World War.

Behind the names

Some soldiers have extraordinary records left behind. Sergeant Geoffrey De Quetteville Robin and his brother, Lieutenant James Keeling Robin MC, were much mourned by their family. Henry Robin and their surviving sister, Margaret, wrote many letters to the war office and it is thanks to them that there exists this extraordinary account of Geoffrey's last moments.

"He was detailed to go over the parapet by the Colonel, and was ready for his hazardous duty when the time came. He encouraged the men round him and sprang forward, but he did not get over the parapet before the enemy machine gun struck him down. When I got down to our front trenches, he was lying as he fell, with all his equipment on, and his rifle with bayonet fixed, lying as if he had been on guard and had fallen backward. His death must have been instantaneous."- Sergeant John E. Blackney, NAA: B2455, ROBIN GEOFFREY DE QUETTEVILLE.

The story of the Suhard brothers is equally touching. Noel Suhard enlisted in early 1916, but was taken seriously ill and died in the Infectious Diseases Hospital in North Adelaide. His brother, Keith Suhard, enlisted at a similar time and would survive the battlefield. However, Keith died of pneumonia in 1919, before he could return to Australia. 

The Shepley family of Rose Park suffered tremendous loss during the war. Private Reginald Shepley enlisted in 1915, but died in the infamous Pozieres conflict in 1916. Corporal Thomas Shepley was killed at Gallipoli in 1915, and the third family member, Private Clarence Shepley, the youngest, enlisted in 1918. Clarence spent his service with the Graves Registration Department, doing the grisly work of identifying bodies and construction cemeteries when he died of pneumonia in 1919.

In Memoriam

Here, published in full, is the list of names on the Avenue of Honour.

Pte A.W Allmond
Sgt A.C Hunter
Pte A.F.D Roberts
Pte H Antram
Sgt H.T.L Hutchinson
Pte W.G Robertson
Sgr H.R Appelbee
Cpl W.H Job
Sgt G Robin
Sgt A.A. Ash
Pte A.E Johnson
Lieut J.K Robin MC
Sgt G.Batt
Farrier A. Keely
Gnr J.S Rogers
Sgt O. E Baumann
Pte U.M Keely
Sgt L.H Sando
Pte F.R Bennett
Pte A.H King
Pte S.J Sando
Pte F.F Berry
Pte O.H Koehna
Pte C.L Schrader
Sgt E.F Bleechmore
Capt A.W.C Knox
Pte C.B Shepley
Pte A.H Bown
Pte N.C Lane
Pte R.B Shepley
Cpl D.R Bradley
Sgt R.A Latta
Spr A.N Shuttleworth
Gnr H.A Bruce
Pte G.E Le Lant
Cpl F.W Slape
Liet C.G Chapman
Lieut G.H Leaver
Pte W Slape
Sgt H.E Clark
Pte L.Lehmann
Lieut E.W Talbot-Smith
Liet H.Y Collison
Pte F.R Lillecrapp
Lieut T Owen Smyth
Sgt W.A Davies
Pte G.H McKenzie
Lieut A.C South
L-Cpl J.S Deane
Pte P.A Maunder
Pte K.R.J Suhard
Sgt S.R Delbridge
Pte D.J Miller
Pte N.M.D Suhard
Pte H.U Fordham
Pte R.W Mugg
Pte F.A Taylor
Liet R.O Fordham
Sgt M.E Nash
Sgt R.C.V Temple
L-Cpl B.H Franklin
Pte C.J.R North
Pte F Townley
Pte F Frerichs
Cpl B.W Pearse
Pte J.R Tucker
L-Cpl J Frerichs
Pte A Pengel
Pte W.C Tucker
PTE C.A Fuller
L-Cpl H.E Pitt
Sgt A.D Venn
Pte F Gilbert
Pte J.L Polle
Lieut R.G Virgoe
Lieut L Gurner
Pte E.A Prest
Pte W.T Willmott
Pte A.G Harvie
Pte P.E Prime
Capt H.F Hubbe
Pte F.H Pybus
Pte H.G Hughes
Lieut C.S Reinecke
Liet J Hughes MC
Gnr W.E Richter

At 11 am this Saturday, pause to remember those who served from this area. Lest We Forget.

Sources:
National Archives Australia
Australian Defence Force Acadamy AIF Project
Australian War Memorial