St Marys Literary Institute Honor Roll

At the St Marys Literary Institute on 27 May 1916, the ceremony of unveiling the Roll of Honour, on which are inscribed the names of the gallant legion of soldier volunteers who enlisted from St Marys, or hailed from that town or district, was performed by J C Hunt, M.L.A., in the presence of an assembly of about 400 people. The Penrith Brass Band was in attendance and played a spirited programme. The Roll of Honour –  ‘is a most ornate piece of work in a polished oak frame elaborately prepared and painted in most artistic fashion – had been placed on the western side of the hall, within the grounds of the institute, fronting the main thoroughfare of St Marys’.

The Mayor of St Marys (Ald Brell) presided and spoke in ‘warmly laudatory terms’ of St Marys contingent which had enlisted.

Mr Hunt, in his commemorative address, said ‘the Gallipoli campaign had served to prove the martial heroism and the spirit of sacrifice for the maintenance of the interests of liberty and national ideals were special virtues of the Australians. They had nobly done their part in upholding the rights and fame of their nation and Empire, even to the death in many cases, and it was surely a privilege on the part of their compatriots at home to record their names – the names of our heroic legion – on such a Roll of Honour as that he was about to unveil in honour of the valour and heroic patriotism of St Marys volunteers’.

There were 74 names inscribed, and some 15 or 16 more were to be added. Mr hunt then stated in unveiling the Roll of Honour, the memorial ‘would stand to perpetuate the fame and blazon the courage of the St Marys brigade, not only while the material lasted, but as long as Australia and the British Empire survived’.

The band played ‘The Boys of the Dardanelles,’ in fine form.

Thomas Turner (President, St Marys Literary Institute) followed Mr Hunt, and in the course of a vigorous speech, made special mention of the ‘heroism of those St Maryians who had fallen in the operations on Gallipoli. He referred appreciatively to the honour gained by one of the ex-members of the Literary Institute, viz, Signaller A Cunaghame, who had been mentioned in despatches as having displayed conspicuous bravery’.

Rev W R Bowers referred to ‘the sublimity of sacrifice shown by our soldiers at the front’ and emphasised the need of yet more reinforcements.

Rev J Tarn (from Penrith) delivered a most forceful and stirring speech, with characteristic vim and earnestness. He appealed for fuller organisation of our resources for the urgent need of the hour, and illustrated his periods with telling anecdotes.

Rev George Milne (St Marys) made reference, in the course of a well phrased and weighty address, to’ the glorious part taken by the Australians in their baptism of fire on a European battlefield, and spoke admiringly of the heroic valour of our grand allies – the French’. Noticing Joseph Armstein (St Marys) amongst the assemblage, the Rev said it was a pleasure to see one of ‘the brave Gallic race – and at that an Alsatian – present’. The struggle would have to be fought out to the bitter end, and more reinforcements were needed.

The National Anthem was sung to the accompaniment of the Penrith Band.

The names inscribed on the Honour Roll are in the following order:

Corpl K H Jackson (killed)
E H Jackson
Signaller E Cunanghame
A V Steel (later killed)
Pte W J Robertson (Killed)
N Dollin
Pte H Bennett
H Vivian
Pte C Church
J L Locke
A Bradley
Pte B Cook
G Giles
Gnr A Turner
Pte L Phillips (killed)
G (Sol) Andrews (died of wounds)
Pte T Watson
Pte W Perry
Pte R Boots
Corpl L Blaydes
Pte G Griffiths
Pte R Cott (killed)
Pte C A Turner (died of wounds)
Pte C Thompson
Pte R Dollin
Pte T L Haining
Pte W Andrews
Pte A Richardson
Pte C Mallard
Pte H Rose
Pte Darcy Hackett
F H McClure
Pte G Mitchell
Pte F Viney
Pte F Desborough
Pte C Lyneham
Pte S Telfer
Pte H L Tingcombe
Spr W J Elliott
Pte E Hope
Pte W Feening
Pte J Hackett
Pte D Thompson
Pte W J Doclan
Pte D Muscio
Pte S Ashley
Pte A Ashely
Pte – Robertson
Pte – Robertson
Pte C Sykes
Pte Flood
Pte C O’Connor
Pte B Holmes
Pte S Luke
Pte C Cook
Pte R Parkin
Pte J Brislin
Pte H Brislin
Pte W Marlow
Pte G G S Bonnard
Spr S Gerring
Corpl W E Cook
Pte E J Boots
Pte Jerome Locke
Pte P Methven
Pte Cecil Gersbach
F J McCarron
C J Chesham
Pte J Morris
Pte A Gibson
Pte C Michelson
P J Corry

The workmanship and painting of the Roll of Honour reflects great credit on the executants, Messrs Monte Bennett and T Ford.


‘Unveiling of Honor Rolls – St Marys’, Nepean Times 3 June 1916