We Honour Them All … their stories will never be forgotten:
Northern Beaches WW1 Soldiers – The Database
This web-site focuses on our soldiers from the “Beaches” (or had strong connections to) who served in the Great War of 1914 – 1918. This WW1 Soldier’s database includes the old Council areas of Manly, Warringah and Pittwater … which were combined in 2016.
Why did Harbord RSL Sub-branch do this?
The Sub-branch is committed to facilitate an “easy to access” database for families of those that served from the Beaches, so the sacrifices they made during the First World War, will not be forgotten with the passage of time. We hope that this local database will engage the younger generations to research the Northern Beaches soldier’s history, the sacrifices and adversities many faced during the Great War.
We are also keen to host local “honour boards”, “photos” or any “articles” of interest that tell the many stories of the contribution made by many Northern Beaches WW1 people, groups and associations. In time this site will be a rich portal into the life and times of loss and untold suffering, but also the honour and pride of our Beaches soldiers and their families during the 1914 – 1918 World War period.
Beaches Population in 1914
The population on the Beaches was estimated as just over 8,000 in 1914. We guesstimate that over the four years of WW1 … over 1,800 men (many just teenage boys) enlisted. Most of these young men either lived on the Beaches or had strong connections with local clubs, associations or had relatives that lived in the area. Of those who volunteered to serve in this most brutal of wars, one in six did not return. Research shows many of those who did return were scarred physically and mentally for life.
In the early 1900’s the Northern Beaches area was a very different place than these days to live and work. Travel was slow and hard with little transport infrastructure, no train (what’s changed) and few roads. The main mode of transport was either horse and cart, coastal shipping, walking or a fledging tram service. Mail to anyone living past Queenscliff/Freshwater need to be addressed as “via Manly”.
Who did the work - The Researchers of WW1 Northern Beachers Soldiers?
The database was compiled by a number of dedicated volunteers and professional researchers. We had given a code system to each research group as follows: The letters indicate the researcher’s group and the last letters indicate the researcher’s name.
- Manly (greater) area:
“Manly Library Local Studies Librarian John MacRitchie (JMR) has compiled the names of around 1500 men with connections to the Northern Beaches who enlisted in WWI. With commendable forethought, Manly Council have made available a collection of over 600 photos of local men who enlisted for WW1 including a brief summary of each person’s wartime role. The biographical database continues to be modified as information continues coming to light
- Warringah/Pittwater “Northern Beaches” WW1 Research Group:
“The Northern Beaches WW 1 Research Group, who are all volunteers, compiled names of around 400 soldiers with connection to the old council areas of Warringah and Pittwater who served in WW1. There is a brief story on each … The data base continues to be updated as information becomes available”.
The Research group consists of:
Ronda Bergin Christine Chapman Faye Cooke
Diane Fahey Kerry Farmer Maggie Green
Anne Hutchinson Patricia Kemp Ann Manley
Judith MacGregor Ann Reynolds* Fay Richardson
Kyle Sing Robert Smith Kaye Vernon
- Soldiers Avenue of Honour & Jacka Park - Freshwater - Anzac Precinct: Code: SAH-**
As the Centenary of Anzac Day (2015) was approaching, the Friends of Freshwater saw the need to refurbished one of the last intact Avenues of Honour in the greater Sydney … Soldiers Avenue in Freshwater. They formed a group of residents and associations in 2013, called “Soldiers Ave Stakeholders Group” closely reflecting the 1920 committee which established the “Soldiers Ave of Honour” in Freshwater and the planting of trees from 1922 in memory of the Freshwater fallen. Also in 2013 a sub-committee was formed to carry out research on the trees planted in the “Avenue” and the soldiers who were allocated to them. This team will continue their work until all the Freshwater boys’ stories have been told … thanks to Sean Rout and Wendy Machon, Et al.
Warringah Australia Remembers Committee:
The Hon. Tony Abbott MP, our local member, has taken a keen interest in Soldiers Ave of Honour, Freshwater. While Prime Minster, he visited the site first hand in 2015 to see the work being carried out. Mr. Abbott had formerly established the ‘Warringah Australia Remembers Trust” in 1995. This changed from a Trust to a Committee in 2016.
“To preserve and promote the memory, along with the military history and records, of those who served and died for the nation, especially within the Federal Electorate of Warringah”.
The committee members joining the Hon. Tony Abbott are: Col John Platt (Chair), Jean Hay AM (NBC), Col Brett Chaloner (Service Member), Lt Col Jacqueline Costello (Service Member), Paul Fenn (Member Resident), the following are representatives from RSL Sub-Branches, Sean Rout (Harbord), Ian Reese (Balgowlah-Seaforth), Chris Ballantine (Dee Why), Geoff Stanwell (Forestville) and Ian Henderson (Mosman).
Their work will be posted on this Web-site.
- Sporting Clubs of 1914:
The sporting clubs of greater Manly (1914) played an important role in the fabric of the community and still do … when the First World War broke out these men were amongst the first to volunteer and in numbers … we are proud to host their names here.
Manly Rugby Union Club (The Marlins) … Manly Warringah District Cricket Club (The Waratahs)
Manly, Freshwater, Dee Why, Collaroy, North Narrabeen & North Steyne Surf Life Saving Clubs, (Source: “Those Who Served” by Stan Vesper) … Manly Golf Club … Manly Swimming Club Etc. (more to be posted as informed).
Honour Boards of Churches, Sporting Clubs, Associations’ and Schools - displayed.
The Northern Beaches communities suffered great loss of life of its young men … Soldiers killed in action, their bodies did not come home, not only were trees planted in their memory (Avenues of Honour, 4 on the Northern Beaches)… individual clubs, schools, churches and associations, paid tribute to them by the use of the Honour Board. As a part of the “Centenary of Anzac” many that were still in existence were refurbished and still hold pride of place in clubhouses, churches and school halls around the district.
Freshwater (Now Harbord) Public School
|The Harbord RSL Sub-branch (as do we all) sincerely give thanks to all the researchers for their generosity in allowing us to host their work … as 2018 approaches we look forward to their important research continuing … enabling this site to be a first stop search facility for all of the Northern Beaches soldiers relatives and schools researchers.|