Concord Soldiers’ Homes & Governor Sir Walter Davidson

Concord Soldiers’ Homes & Governor Sir Walter Davidson
Official Opening of 2nd Soldiers' Home

In the last issue of Nurungi we wrote about the bazaar held by the New Station Committee (North Strathfield Station) on 15th June 2018 to raise money for the Concord Soldiers’ Aid and Voluntary Workers Association and feel we should elaborate a little more.

An article in the Sun newspaper of 2/6/1918 r eported:

The NSW Governor, Sir Walter Davidson, was accorded a civic reception when he visited Concord yesterday afternoon for the purpose of inducting Private and Mrs. Curran into a handsome cottage which has just been completed by the Concord Soldiers Aid and Voluntary Workers Association.

Voluntary Workers
Voluntary Workers

The Mayor, Alderman Warbrick, in welcoming him, mentioned “that this was the second cottage that the association had built, and a third was nearing completion”.  They had sufficient ground to build two more soldiers’ homes in Empire Avenue and land had been acquired at Mortlake and Concord West. Negotiations were also in progress for the acquisition of land at Rhodes. The first cottage had been handed over to Sergeant and Mrs. Boyd, while the present was built for Private Curran, a resident of Mortlake, who had returned with his left arm disabled.

Governor Davidson said that a community could not be engaged in a more noble work than that of providing for men who had returned disabled. He then opened the door of the cottage and led Private and Mrs. Curran inside.

NSW Governor Sir Walter Davidson
NSW Governor Sir Walter Davidson

Sir Walter appears to have some affinity with the Concord Council as he and Lady Davidson granted their patronage to the official opening of a further Concord Soldiers’ Home in Empire Avenue on Saturday, 4th October, 1919. (Sunday Times Sun 21 Sep 1919)

War Trophies

In 1923, Governor Davidson again came to Concord according to the SMH (Thu Apr 26 1923), where he was received by a guard of honour formed of Boy Scouts and military trainees.

Concord War Memorial
Concord War Memorial

Three thousand persons, many of them women, stood in the rain at the War Memorial in Concord Park* and witnessed the Governor unveil four war trophies – a trench mortar, a light machine gun, a howitzer and a heavy machine gun. He said that they had now, in the four guns he unveiled, hideous weapons, trophies of the time we got the enemy on the run.   Alderman Lee, Mayor of Concord, said that two of the guns had been captured by Concord boys.

The Governor later presented war medals to forty of the returned men of the district. He also spoke of his intention to visit to the graves of Australians in France to see that they are well looked after. He also hoped that we would have a national memorial, a really artistic memorial, which would be the most beautiful thing erected on the most beautiful site in your beautiful country, a memorial which would prove to all the world that Australia proved herself this day.
During the afternoon many wreaths were placed on the war memorial.                                                                                                                             *(now Queen Elizabeth Park)

Concord’s Memorial to the late Governor

The Concord Council is the first corporate body to move in the direction of perpetuating the memory of the late Sir Walter Davidson. It will erect a memorial tablet in Concord Park. Mr. A Penton, building surveyor, has designed the tablet.

The Council of the Institute of Journalists yesterday passed a resolution of condolence with Dame Margaret Davidson.

The Bowling Association, at its annual meeting, carried a resolution expressing sympathy with Dame Margaret Davidson, and regret at the death of the patron of their association
(Daily Telegraph Sat 29 Sep 1923)

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