Autumn 2004

St Marys & District Historical Society Inc - Quarterly Newsletter


25th of April is ANZAC DAY and we move the spotlight to a “local lad”

No: 141, Regiment: 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Forces. Kenneth enlisted on the 17/8/1914 with his brother, Serg. E H Jackson (D.S.M) and both brothers were on Gallipoli. He was born at Bondi to Frederick W & Jessie E Jackson of "The Glen" St Marys. Kenneth was a clerk before the war. He was killed in action at Lone Pine on Gallipoli on 28/4/1915 at the age of 27 years and his name is on the Memorial Wall at Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey. 

The LONE PINE MEMORIAL stands on the site of the fiercest fighting at Lone Pine and overlooks the whole front line of May 1915. It commemorates more than 4,900 Australian and New Zealand servicemen who died in the Anzac area - the New Zealanders prior to the fighting in August 1915 - whose graves are not known. Others named on the memorial died at sea and were buried in Gallipoli waters. The memorial stands in LONE PINE CEMETERY. The original small battle cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice when scattered graves were brought in from the neighbourhood, and from Brown's Dip North and South Cemeteries, which were behind the Australian trenches of April-August 1915. There are now 1,167 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 504 of the burials are unidentified. Special memorials commemorate 183 soldiers (all but one of them Australian, most of whom died in August), who were known or believed to have been buried in Lone Pine Cemetery, or in the cemeteries at Brown's Dip.

The first Australian Imperial Force troopships left Australia on the 7th November, 1914 where the troops were sent to Egypt for training with British weapons. It was decided to put Australian and New Zealand forces together to form the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). The 1st Division reached Egypt in December, 1914 to be joined by a further brigade of infantry and two more of the light horse early the following year. The Australian and New Zealanders trained in the country surrounding their camp at Mena before embarking to Gallipoli and the assault at Anzac Cove on the 25th April, 1915. After the eight month campaign at Gallipoli and the evacuation, the AIF returned to Egypt to absorb reinforcements and rebuild units which were depleted by Gallipoli. The Divisions were split in half. 

The Society invites you to see our display of war memorabilia which will be in the St Marys library over April 

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Late last year Malcolm Goldfinch, the great-great-great grandson of 3rd Governor of NSW, Philip Gidley King paid a visit to St Marys. Mr Goldfinch was accompanied by his daughter Jan and son-in-law Guy, who were visiting from England. I met him at the St Mary Magdalene graveyard where many members of his family are interred, including his parents and and grandparents.

I first met Mr Goldfinch at an exhibition at the State Library some five or six years ago, where he saw me reading the Governor’s journal and introduced himself. Since that time, we have maintained an intermittent contact, so I was very pleased to receive his call regarding his pending visit. We visited all the King, Lethbridge and Goldfinch graves and at Reverend David Clarke’s invitation, we were able to access the church and the family were able to read all of the plaques in the church relating to the family. Mr Goldfinch was also able to view the two marvellous paintings of “Dunheved House” recently painted by local artist Elsie Steer who donated one to our society. Mr Goldfinch was most impressed by her efforts.

Elsie Steer with "Dunheved"painting
photo taken by member Joan O'Brien

Portrait of Malcolm Goldfinch by
John Brain (Courtesy "Goldfinch" website)

Mr Goldfinch’s father, the late Duncan Macarthur Goldfinch, who was born at “Dunheved” House was also an artist and had painted “Dunheved” and Mr Goldfinch has since given me a copy of his father’s painting along with several interesting documents. Among these, was a video recording of the last King Family Reunion which was held in 1988 to coincide with the Bi-Centenary Celebrations in Sydney. Dr Jonathan King was the keynote speaker at this reunion and he had been involved in the re-enactment of the First Fleet. He was also responsible for bringing the gravestone of the late Governor to Australia to be placed in the graveyard at St Mary Magdalene alongside that of his widow, Anna Josepha King. This ceremony also appears on the video. 

After a quick visit to the former “Dunheved House” site and Werrington House, we enjoyed lunch and lots of talk on the King family. Mr Goldfinch is a successful author, writing under his middle names of Gilbert Buchanan. 

Information supplied by President Norma Thorburn

The St Marys & District Historical Society meets every 4th Saturday at 
1 pm - at the St Marys Arts & Craft Centre 2 - 6 Mamre Road, St Marys.


This Newsletter is a free publication. Articles in this Newsletter may be republished if permission is given by the Society.
Please contact:-



Norma Thorburn 9623-2307

Lyn Forde 9673-3506

(While care is taken to ensure that all articles are accurate, the opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Society) Any comments on this Newsletter are encouraged

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St Marys War Memorial

Located on the Great Western Highway in Victoria Park at St Marys it was built by public subscription to honour the St Marys district’s 113 brave men and boys who fought in World War 1. The foundation stone was laid on Saturday, 25th February, 1922 by the Town Mayor, Alderman T W Brooker. Also on that day a stone was laid by the president of the Red Cross Society St Mary’s branch Mr Kenneth Campbell. The memorial was unveiled by Sir Charles Rosenthal on the 28th October, 1922. A couple of years ago a memorial tablet was placed in remembrance of the Servicemen & Women from WW2, Korea and Vietnam War Veterans

. The memorial was built by local builder Mr E Exley

Sir Charles Rosenthal
Was born in Berrima, the only son of a Danish born schoolmaster and his Swedish wife In 1892 he joined the Geelong Battery of the Victorian Militia Garrison Artillery as a gunner but left in 1893 to pursue a career as an architect. In 1906 he was made the architect for the Anglican diocese of Grafton and Armidale and he designed St Andrew’s at Lismore, St Laurence’s at Barraba and Holy Trinity at Dulwich Hill in Sydney. In 1903 he was commissioned second lieutenant in the Militia Garrison Artillery and transferred to the Australian Field Artillery in 1908. In 1914 he became commanding officer of the 5th Field Artillery Brigade and by the outbreak of WW1 was a well established soldier as well as a musician and architect. He was also one of the founders of the Aerial League of Australia in 1909 and was a pupil at W.E. Hart’s Australian Flying School at Penrith. He joined the AIF in August 1915 and sailed with the first convoy as lieutenant-colonel commanding the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade. He was affectionately called “Rosie” and served in the Gallipoli campaign being at the landing on the 25th April, 1915 where he was twice wounded before being evacuated to England. He was given the command of the new 4th Division and was promoted to brigadier-general in February, 1916. He fought on the Somme, At Pozieres, Mouquet Farm and at Ypres in Belgium. He was wounded a third time in December, 1916. He was awarded the Belgian 

Croix de Guerre in 1917 and won the Distinguished Service Order in 1918, the French Croix de Guerre in 1918 and the Legion d’honneur in 1919. He was commander of the 2nd Division, Australian Military Forces in 1921 - 1926 and again in 1932 - 1937. He was a good speaker at public functions and much in demand at soldier’s reunions and as a leader of the Anzac Day marches in Sydney. He died at Green Point on the 11th May, 1954 of chronic nephritis and was cremated with full military honours after a service at St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral in Sydney.

(Information from “The Diggers - Makers of the Australian Military Tradition” by Chris Coulthard-Clark)

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Robyn isn’t originally from the St Marys area as she was born in Leichhardt where she lived until she was five, when her parents purchased a general store in Oakey Park, Lithgow and she spent most of her childhood years in the Blue Mountains at Lawson. Six years of her schooling were at Stratford Church of England School for Girls in Lawson, a school which was much loved and deeply mourned by Robyn when it closed down at the end of 1961. From second year high school she attended Katoomba High. After her first marriage she moved quite a lot, living in New Zealand, England and Wales, Papua New Guinea, as well as Australia. When her first marriage ended, Robyn and son Nathan, lived in Penrith, Werrington and Saddington Street at St Marys. Robyn married her second husband Michael, a fellow member of our Society, and they currently reside at Colyton. Robyn’s interest in history became serious when she was living in England and came across documentation of a Great Yarmouth prison worker, Sarah Martin, who taught prisoners to read, sew and support themselves after release, or when they arrived in Australia as convicts. She was a most inspiring woman and a wonderful Christian, and Robyn spent a considerable amount of time researching her life and work in the Tollhouse Museum, which was originally the prison in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in eastern England. Robyn began her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Western Sydney in 1997 and one of her first subjects was “Australian Colonial History” with Dr Carol Liston, (who is a patron of our Society) and Dr Melanie Oppenheimer, both of whom are inspiring teachers. Since then many other academics have deepened her passion to record Australian history and seek to right the wrongs that have continued from our past. Robyn said that her Honours thesis was written on four private girls’ schools in the Blue Mountains, one of which was her own school, Stratford. Robyn is a mature age student and said that her most satisfying moment in the past year has been the presentation of her Honours degree in History by the Chancellor of the University of Sydney in the Great Hall on 16th May, 2003. Over the past year she has taught English and Study Skills at Kingswood campus of Nepean College of TAFE. At the same time she has been studying subjects in Adult Education through the University of New England as an external student. She said she is hoping shortly to begin researching for a Ph.D. in the history of women in adult education in Australia. Before Robyn went to university she was a self-employed bridal dressmaker and also worked in a fabric shop. At every opportunity she urges women to recognise their own worth and intelligence by furthering their education. Robyn is testament to the fact that it is never too late to get a degree and she found that it is one of the most satisfying achievements of her life. At present Robyn is working on a publicity brochure for our historic church, St Mary Magdalene and hopes to expand this to a book updating earlier histories. Michael and Robyn consider it a privilege to be able to worship God as part of the congregation of this church which is so bound up in the history of Australia. Robyn said that attending church and connected activities as an extension of her Christian faith, is a vital part of her life and because of the death of her daughter, Judith, at the age of 16 from malaria in Papua New Guinea, she tries to support other bereaved parents, or refer them to The Compassionate Friends. Her time in PNG has also given her a lifelong interest in focusing attention on the needs of people in developing countries and research into curing tropical diseases like malaria. As a member of the St Marys & District Historical Society, Robyn enjoys being a part of the community and learning together about our local history and both her and Michael value the friendship of the other members and would be the first to encourage anyone interested in the birth and growth of the district to join the society


Editor & Publisher: Lyn Forde

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