The Great War touched communities far and wide across Australia. North Sydney was no exception. Around 4000 local men are thought to have enlisted to fight. Of those brave souls, nearly 500 have their names recorded for prosperity on the bronze plates displayed on the St Leonards Park cenotaph. Most – if not all – died during active service and the list is not comprehensive, meaning many more are missing from the roll of honour. These images from the North Sydney Heritage Centre collection at Stanton Library give us a small glimpse back to the time of The Great War and the people and stories that helped create our community today. Lest we forget this, and every, ANZAC Day.
Historical information extracted from “Was thinking of home today…” North Sydney and the Great War by North Sydney Council Historian Dr Ian Hoskins. The book is available for free from Stanton Library once it reopens, while stocks last.
Ferry man of Milsons Point
Victor Lever, front centre of this image, was a ferry master on Sydney Harbour before joining up aged 22. He lived on Milsons Street in Milsons Point. (PF1669 North Sydney Heritage Centre Collection, Stanton Library)
Armistice celebration: Mount Street, North Sydney
This procession along the main shopping street marked the signing of the Armistice in November 1918. British flags were waved, a band was quickly organised and speeches were made on the steps of the Post Office. (PF786 North Sydney Heritage Centre Collection, Stanton Library)
Back home harbourside: Milsons Street, Milsons Point
Victor Lever and his family outside their home in Milsons Point after he returned to Sydney. Victor fought in the battle of Mouquet Farm in 1916 and was wounded. A second gunshot three months later saw him evacuated to England. (PF1666, North Sydney Heritage Centre Collection, Stanton Library)