Memories of War

Memories of War


The 1914-18 World War I conflict greatly impacted Australian life and the Penrith community was no exception.

The Penrith district, encompassing the suburbs and towns in the current local government area, felt the impact of war as casualty figures mounted. Alfred Colless, editor of the Nepean Times, published letters from soldiers and nurses serving overseas and obituaries for many of the soldiers. In the early years of the war, the Nepean Times regularly included lists of local boys and men who had enlisted, the wounded and the dead. By July 1917, when the casualties were mounting at an increasing rate, the lists disappeared. Over 115 men born or resident in the Penrith District at the time of enlistment, were killed during World War I. 

During World War I, 16 nurses from the Penrith District served overseas with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force in Rabaul, on hospital ships and with the Australian Imperial Force in Egypt, England, the Western Front and Salonika (Greece). The nurses enlisted under terms which offered free return passage by 2nd class steamer or military transport, free uniform and allowance for upkeep, pay rates of £100 per year for Matron while a staff nurse received £40 per year (the same rate as a private soldier). It was not until late 1916 that nurses received officer status. Working conditions were less than ideal. Many Australian nurses served in British hospitals under British staff and felt aggrieved as they had enlisted to nurse Australian soldiers.

Overall, 2139 Australian nurses served overseas while 423 remained on home service. 21 Australian nurses died on overseas service and 235 were decorated.

This page commemorates the work undertaken by the 16 Penrith district nurses, including their service on the hospital ship HMAS Grantala. If you would like to submit additional details for any of these nurses, please email: .

  • Adele Baker
  • Adelaide Maud Kellett
  • Jessie Bassetti
  • Ada Alice Morehead
  • Rachel Clouston
  • Constance Neale
  • Esther Edith Coggins
  • Ione Evelyn Grace Nowland
  • Stella Lilian Colless
  • Florrie Manson Perkins
  • Vida Mitylene Greentree
  • Jessie Grace Perkins
  • Mary Rosa Harford
  • Alice Cecilia Scahill
  • Elizabeth Kearey
  • Annie Eliza Major-West

During World War I, guns captured from the enemy were labelled with details of the name of the unit which had captured the piece, and the date and place of capture. Trophies were then sent to England for storage before being sent home to Australia. It was determined that the new National War Museum would only retain a portion of the trophies for display. A War Trophy Committee, set up to organise the allotment of the trophies, was inundated by requests for guns. It was necessary to draw up guidelines for disbursement which took into consideration the claims from soldiers who had captured the guns, and which recognised the towns from which the soldiers had volunteered. Distribution of the guns was based on a number of factors:

  • The claims of the AIF unit responsible for the gun's capture.
  • The restructure of the army after the war saw many of these guns allotted to Commonwealth Military Forces (CMF) units.
  • Many units either handed control of the guns over to the council, or requested that they be distributed to other towns.

Pool A Guns. The remaining guns were allotted to towns all over Australia. Towns applying for guns had to comply with a series of conditions which included the appointment of three trustees. One of the trustees was required to have served in the Australian Imperial Forces. The trustees were responsible for:

  • Arranging for the gun to be permanently housed in a public park, garden or building within the town, and for its subsequent preservation and safe custody.
  • Arranging a simple ceremony where it would be formally handed over.
  • Bearing all expenses connected with transport and installation after arrival.

The following locations within the Penrith Local Government Area were issued with war trophies.

  • Castlereagh
  • Colyton
  • Emu Plains
  • Luddenham
  • Penrith
  • St Marys

Additional information will be added to the website over the next few months.

The catalyst to provide honour rolls which listed local residents who had volunteered to serve overseas began early in the war. Faced with the appalling loss of life at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, many believed that formal recognition was necessary. Soldiers were to given public honour as fellow citizens as employees, worshippers and members of community organisations. Government departments and private companies, churches and schools, lodges and sporting clubs everywhere installed honour rolls and in many places, put up more substantial monuments. Most committees raised money for the memorials as they had done for wartime funds, by appeals in the press, door-to-door canvassing, fetes and dances and any other ways they could think of. Penrith, like many towns, faced a number of hurdles when erecting its public monument. There was disagreement among the community about the form of monument. Many returned soldiers were interested in the erection of a club house or hall for their use. Others wanted a monument that would publicly acknowledge the service of a large number of men from the Penrith District.

The number of Honour Rolls in the Penrith district reflected this desire to honour the dead and to commemorate those fortunate enough to survive the war. Many Honour Rolls were unveiled including: St Stephen's Church, Penrith Methodist Church, St Nicholas of Myra Church, the Penrith Presbyterian Church, Jamisontown Uniting Church and Lodge Nepean.

To assist researchers, the full name has been listed if known.

  • Castlereagh - Smith Park
  • Castlereagh - Upper Castlereagh Public School
  • Emu Plains - Emu Park
  • Emu Plains Public School
  • Jamisontown Methodist Church
  • Llandilo Public School
  • Luddenham Methodist Church
  • Orchard Hills Public School
  • Penrith - Lodge Nepean
  • Penrith - Masonic Loyal Alexander Lodge
  • Penrith - Memory Park
  • Penrith Methodist Church
  • Penrith Presbyterian Church
  • Penrith - St Nicholas Catholic Church
  • Penrith - St Stephen's Church of England
  • Penrith Superior Public School
  • St Marys Public School
  • St Marys - Victoria Park

The Penrith District Roll of Honour 1914-1919 commemorates our fallen World War I soldiers who lived in Penrith, enlisted in Penrith or are listed on the Rolls of Honour in the Penrith Local Government area. Details on the Roll of Honour have been obtained from the Australian War Memorial, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, War Memorials in the Penrith area and Local Sources such as newspapers and church records.

Biographies for these soldiers are gradually being added to the website. This information is compiled from the above sources as well as family members. If you would like to submit details for any of these service personnel, please email .

NamePlace of EnlistmentDate of DeathCemetery/Memorial details
Abbott, Francis ArthurPenrith, NSW31 August 1918Panel 121, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Adams, HarrySt Marys, NSW7 January 191768, 135 Strathford-Sub-Castle(St Lawrence) Churchyard, England
Aitchison, Alexander WalkerAnnandale, NSW22 August 191584, 16 Hill 60 Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Andrews, WilliamSt Marys, NSW26 September 191768, 152 Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery Wytschaete, Belgium
Aubrey, Sydney EllisPenrith, NSW28 September 191511, 14 Skew Bridge Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Ausburn, Edward HaroldPenrith, NSW21 July 1916158, 525 Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery, France
Baker, Owen WallaceRooty Hill, NSW29 July 1917123, 42 Kandahar Farm Cemetery Neuve-Eglise, Belgium
Baker, Richard FrederickCastlereagh, NSW9 October 1917See Voller, Richard Frederick
Bannister, Rupert Theodore AlgernonGranville, NSW8 June 1917110 Toronto Avenue Cemetery Warneton, Belgium
Baynes, Richard Henry BeindgeWrexham, England14 July 19164A, Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France
Bennett, Lionel WilliamSydney, NSW2 April 1917See Sargent, William Edward John
Bennett, Sydney WilliamSt Marys, NSW21 October 191825, 2 Damascus British War Cemetery, Syria
Bewley, Sidney George BirchCowra, NSW23 March 191726 Villers Bretonneux, France
Blaxland, Cyril FalknerPenrith, NSW1 October 1917177, 115 Perth Cemetery (China Wall) Zillebeke, Belgium
Blaydes, Andrew Marvell DelmeSydney, NSW6 August 191535, 7 Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Bourke, Austin JosephPenrith, NSW8 September 191684, 40 Etaples Military Cemetery, France
Bowes, JosephMullewa, WA4 July 1918136, 1170 Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery Fouilloy, France
Bruton, Bernard JosephBelmore, NSW7 August 191535, 6 Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
Buckley, Cecil WilliamMudgee, NSW12 October 1917125, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Bunyan, Edward (Edwin)Emu Plains, NSW8 October 191788, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Bunyan, IrwinEmu Plains, NSW11 May 191788, 102 Bologne Eastern Cemetery, France
Burrows, Henry JohnPenrith, NSW2 September 191823, 119 Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France
Byrns, William Henry LoftusPenrith,NSW4 August 191684, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Campling, Albert EdwardKogarah, NSW14 June 191690, 83 Brewery Orchard Cemetery Bois-Grenier, France
Cheesman, Reginald HughPenrith, NSW21 January 1917139, Sussex 111 Brighton Borough Cemetery, England
Clissold, Charles AlbertEmu Plains, NSW7 June 1917126, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Clissold, George AlbertEmu Plains, NSW19 November 191685, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Colless, StanleyPenrith, NSW1 September 1918160, 627 Herbecourt British Cemetery, France
Collum, John Steen ClareCooma, NSW28 February 191788, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Connell, Bede SeptimusSt Marys, NSW20 September 191755, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Cook, James DavidLlandilo, NSW8 August 191888, 424 Crucifix Corner Cemetery Villers Bretonneux, France
Cott, ReginaldSmithtown, NSW8 August 191575, 6 Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
Denny, GeorgeRichmond, NSW8 June 1917122, 110 Toronto Avenue Cemetery Warneton, Belgium
Devlin, Errol Cappie NepeanManly, NSW30 May 191685, 83 Brewery Orchard Cemetery Bois-Grenier, France
Doolan, William JosephSt Marys, NSW13 August 1916148, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Douglas, William BowmanRichmond, NSW5 May 19156 Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
Dredge, John Killian FletcherMt Garnet, Qld27 September 1917148, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Dykes, George PatrickMudgee, NSW2 August 1917133, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Eaton, Frederick GeorgeLuddenham, NSW19 April 191734 Jerusalem Memorial Palestine
Earp, Frederick ClarencePenrith, NSW5 May 191736, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Edwards, HaroldPenrith, NSW29 May 1918159, 13 Bournemouth East Cemetery, England
Farrington, Richard ChristopherPenrith, NSW21 August 191717, 8 Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No 3 Vlamertinghe, Belgium
Feening, WilliamPenrith, NSW15 April 191840, 180 Ebbinghem Military Cemetery, France
Ferrow, Charles WilliamPenrith, NSW28 February 1917163, 187 Compton Chamberlayne Cemetery, England
Forland, Robert CarringtonCondobolin, NSW19 July 1916157, 7 V C Corner Australian Cemetery, France
Forrest, Richard LesliePenrith, NSW12 October 1917123, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Fowler, Darrell Elwyn HodgsonPenrith, NSW22 January 191825, 8 Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq
Fowler, Lionel RupertMulgoa, NSW12 May 19152, 9 Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
Franks, Edgar RussellBlacktown, NSW2 September 1918160, 627 Herbecourt British Cemetery, France
Gardiner, Albert GeorgeDora Creek, NSW10 April 1917157, 146 St Sever Cemetery Extension Rouen, France
Gardiner, John WilliamPenrith, NSW22 August 191636, 74 Puchevillers British Cemetery, France
Garner, AtholSt Marys, NSW28 March 1918139, 526 Heath Cemetery Harbonnieres, France
Garner, WilliamSt Marys, NSW11 August 191891, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Gerring, Arthur StanleySt Marys, NSW1 December 1917131, 102 Bologne Eastern Cemetery, France
Giddy, George HenryKempsey, NSW10 April 191732, 832 Pozieres British Cemetery Ovillers-La-Boisselle, France
Gregor, David AndrewPenrith, NSW7 November 191799, 72 Menin Road South Military Cemetery Ypres, Belgium
Hague, HenryPenrith, NSW17 July 191536, 6 Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
Harper, Ernest FrederickLeichhardt, NSW2 October 191729, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Haylen, Francis HenryNorth Sydney, NSW21 September 191732, 09 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Haynes, Clarence WilliamPenrith, NSW30 September 191826 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Hendrickes, AugustusCorrimal, NSW4 October 191729, 88 Aeroplane Cemetery Ypres, Belgium
Holt, Henry John JosephLismore, NSW2 August 1916104, 74 Puchevillers British Cemetery, France
Hope, Edward JamesSt Marys, NSW20 July 1916159, 7 V C Corner Australian Cemetery, France
Howlett, Cecil William RobertLuddenham, NSW2 May 191524, 31 Shrapnel Valley Cemetery Anzac, Gallipoli, Turkey
Hughes, LukePenrith, NSW7 June 1917139, 29 Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Jackson, Kenneth HalsteadSydney, NSW28 April 191536, 6 Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Kerry, JohnPenrith, NSW20 September 191791, 11 Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium
Lance, Edward KennedyPenrith, NSW29 December 191633, 400 Bernafay Wood British Cemetery Montauban, France
Lee, Thomas JohnGerringong, NSW28 July 191686, 1890 Serre Rd Cemetery No 2, France
Leitch, SinclairPenrith, NSW2 November 1916175, 833 Heilly Station Cemetery Mericourt-L'Abbe, France
Le Sueur, William JamesMarrickville, NSW24 July 191633, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Love, GeorgeWindsor, NSW30 September 191711 Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium
Luke, Samuel HenrySt Marys, NSW21 April 1917174, 1484 Vaulx Hill Cemetery, France
Lyne, Victor Harold DavisonNyngan, NSW24 June 19151, 31 Shrapnel Valley Cemetery Anzac, Gallipoli, Turkey
Mallard, CecilSt Marys, NSW20 September 1917178, 115 Perth Cemetery (China Wall) Zillebeke, Belgium
Martin, GordonRichmond, NSW7 October 191611 Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium
McGuinness, Robert WilliamEskbank, NSW26 May 1917157, 512 Grevillers British Cemetery, France
McLean, Reginald Donald JoshuaManly, NSW15 Apr 191783, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Messer, Frederick Charles EddingtonPenrith, NSW14 May 191541, 6 Chatby War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
Miller, CharlesPenrith, NSW18 August 191630, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Mills, Mertoun SydneyPenrith, NSW12 June 1917264 Nieppe Communal Cemetery, France
Mitchell, Alexander MalcolmCowra, NSW20 June 191770, 285 Bailluel Communal Cemetery Extension, France
Mitchell, Arthur JamesPenrith, NSW23 September 1916Kingswood Cemetery, NSW
Mullen, William HiramEmu Plains, NSW22 July 191630, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Mullis, HarryPenrith, NSW22 July 1916159, 1472 Assevillers New British Cemetery, France
Nicole, James Otho HenryPenrith, NSW3 July 191633, 275 Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard Extension, France
Parkes, HenryBathurst, NSW29 August 1918119 Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France
Parry, HubertCorrimal, NSW23 August 191770, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Pascoe, Walter ReubenPenrith, NSW15 August 191837, 119 Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France
Paxton, RobertGlebe, NSW14 November 191689, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Pearce, EddieRichmond, NSW19 August 191630, 1505 Sunken Road Cemetery Contalmaison, France
Peck, Cecil Bertram ValentineKempsey, NSW11 May 191716, 40 Etaples Military Cemetery, France
Perrau, Robert James JosephPenrith, NSW8 August 19152, 6 Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
Perry, WilliamPenrith, NSW20 September 191786, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Piggott, Horace LindsayKyogle, NSW14 November 1916105, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Purdon, Leslie FrederickBathurst, NSW18 March 191792, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Pye, Harold HumePenrith, NSW27 April 191534, 31 Shrapnel Valley Cemetery Anzac, Gallipoli, Turkey
Pye, Reginald LesliePenrith, NSW6 August 191541, 7 Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Riley, Kenrick CoryBrewarrina, NSW27 March 19185, 2 Damascus British War Cemetery, Syria
Robertson, William JamesSt Marys, NSW9 March 191538, 9 Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
Rolston, James WilliamNewtown, NSW27 May 1918175, 28 Borre British Cemetery, France
Rooke, GeorgePenrith, NSW28 March 191870, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Ryan, HerbertSt Marys, NSW6 February 1919185, 167 Sutton Valley (St John) Churchyard, England
Sargent, William Edward John (alias Lionel William Bennett)Sydney, NSW2 April 1917161, 245 Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France
Shadlow, StephenNew Zealand29 April 191576, Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
Simpson, John GeorgeRozelle, NSW9 October 191789, 123 Passchendaele New British Cemetery, France
Skeen, AlfredPenrith, NSW31 August 191884, 511 Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, France
Skelton, WalterCastlereagh, NSW5 May 191738, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Smith, Harold BathurstPenrith, NSW27 August 191587, 6 Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
Sparkes, Joseph EdwardHurstville, NSW20 November 1917117, 109 Bethlehem Farm West Cemetery Messines, Belgium
Stafford, Percy GeorgeBrisbane, Qld20 February 1919147, 330 Charleroi Communal Cemetery, Belgium
Stafford, Stanley OwenPenrith, NSW6 August 191534, 7 Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Starling, William Joseph JamesPenrith, NSW7 August 191642, 145 St Sever Cemetery Rouen, France
Steele, Albert EdwardPenrith, NSW30 October 191713, 112 Hoege Crater Cemetery Zillebeke, Belgium
Steele, Arthur ValentineWangaratta, Vic5 November 191631, 512 Grevilliars British Cemetery, France
Stevenson, Alfred Lewis GroomPenrith, NSW10 June 1917140, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Stinson, William EdwardMungindi, NSW12 October 1917124, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Stuckey, Victor FrankPenrith, NSW10 April 191725, 307 Bancourt British Cemetery, France
Syme, John WilliamPenrith, NSW5 May 191542, 6 Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey
Tedder, Alma Reginald O'NeillBelmore, NSW23 February 1919181, 65 Les Baraques Military Cemetery Sangatte, France
Tingcombe, Henry LethbridgeSt Marys, NSW29 July 191687, 102 Bologne Eastern Cemetery, France
Tingcombe, Noel LethbridgeSt Marys, NSW4 August 191687, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Voller, Richard Frederick (alias Baker, Richard FrederickCastlereagh, NSW9 October 1917128 Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, Belgium
Whincup, JohnMulgoa, NSW7 November 1918181, 1170 Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery Fouilloy, France
Willis, Henry RaymondSydney, NSW16 September 191715, 115 Perth Cemetery (China Wall) Zillebeke, Belgium
Williams, Thomas WilliamLithgow, NSW20 September 191792, 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium
Woodriff, Geoffrey BesantPenrith, NSW19 May 191887, 26 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Yeoman, Gordon FrancisCastlereagh, NSW20 October 1918163, 8 Calais Southern Cemetery, France

Additional information can be accessed on the Penrith City Local History website or by calling Penrith Library's Research Room on 4732 7899 or Information Librarian Lorraine Stacker on 4732 7886 or emailing .