Castlereagh Honor Roll

On January 4, 1919 a Honor Roll was unveiled in Smith Park, Castlereagh, which contained the names of soldiers who enlisted from the Castlereagh Municipality. The monument was constructed entirely of concrete by the voluntary labour of a committee of nine: Ald P Landers (mayor), Aldermen H Shields, W P Howell, J Holihan, C Mitchell, T Smith and Messrs P Jay, E Yeomans and A Shaw. The monument was built up on three steps, the one at the base being 5 feet square. On one of the four sides of the pillar part, a marble tablet measuring 3 feet 6 inches x 18 inches x 2 inches was inlaid and bore the soldiers names. During the ceremony Mrs Skelton and Miss Shaw handed over two wreaths to be placed on the monument in memory of Mrs Skelton’s late husband, Private W Skelton.

smith park

Smith Park, Castlereagh (Penrith City Library Photograph Collection)

Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 10 January 1919

Castlereagh Honor Roll: A large gathering of residents of Castlereagh, and visitors from the surrounding district, took place last Saturday afternoon 4th January, to witness the unveiling of an Honor Roll in memory of local lads who had gone to the front. The Honor Roll is a credit to the people of Castlereagh and the committee who carried the work through so successfully. The memorial consists of a concrete monument with a marble slab set in, on which are inscribed the names of those who left the district to partake in the Great War. P Landers, Mayor of the Municipality, opened the proceedings and called on R B Walker, MLA, to perform the unveiling ceremony. Mr Walker in opening, congratulated Castlereagh on their splendid effort in arranging this function, and also on the imposing and substantial memorial erected in honor to the local lads who fought on the other side of the world. It was only a slight recognition and did not show the full respect in which people held them for the services they had so gallantly rendered the King and Empire. It was a permanent memorial – one which would be there for all time. We all owed a great debt of gratitude to the soldier boys, and many people failed to realise what noble sacrifices they had made. They had made Australia – in short had “placed it on the map.” His duty was a very pleasing one because they all knew that now we were on the threshold of peace, and he felt sure there would be a peace that would make the democracy of the world safe for all time. So that we might enjoy those glorious privileges that had been handed down to us from our forefathers, and which we had always enjoyed under our glorious old flag the Union Jack. We want a peace with a guarantee for the future. We all know that Germany cannot be trusted and we must negotiate with her, but deal with her, because Germany is a criminal nation. On that honor roll were 22 names and one this of the names were written in letters of blood. They would never return and his hope was that those remaining would be spared to come back. Mr Walker congratulated the parents for sending the boys and felt sure that people appreciated them or what they had done. He had much pleasure in unveiling this honor roll (Applause). Several wreaths were placed on the monument to the memory of the lads who had fallen. The National Anthem was sung by all present. Other gentlemen who spoke included Dr Helsham. P Quinn, Mayor of Penrith said it was an honor for him to be present and congratulated little Castlereagh for taking this step. He said they were a long way ahead of Penrith, which hadn’t made a start yet. He was proud to take his hat off to returned boys because they had made Australia and kept Australia for Australians. They had kept Australia free and Australia belonged to them. The Rev J B Penman (Methodist) said it was a pleasure to do anything in honor of a returned lad, because we had enjoyed our liberty and privileges behind the blood of our brave boys. There was no better soldier than the Australian they were in fact “the bravest thing God ever mad.” (Applause) Fields in foreign lands were stained with the blood of our boys and he trusted that those remaining may be spared to come back safe and sound.

*denotes killed during war

*Richard Frederick BakerLeonard Branford Lucas
Tom Coates* Gordon Martin
Albert John Craig* Eddie Pearce
* George Bernard DennyFrank Pearce
Sydney Albert EvansJames Pearce
Clunie James GregorD W S Reid
* David Andrew GregorH Reid
A HardieJ T Savage
K Hardie* Walter Skelton
* Edward Kennedy LanceW M Willmott
George Robert Ellory Lucas* Gordon Francis Yeoman