Berowra War Memorial

Berowra War Memorial

Subscriptions for the Berowra War Memorial began in the 1920s and in March 1932 it was unveiled on the Pacific Highway.

In 1987 the memorial was moved to its present location in Gully Road because of persistent vandalism.

Some mystery surrounds one of the names on the list. It is believed E.R. Baker is Ernest Reginald Gordon Baker, but he was not a casualty of the war and it is unclear why he was added to the memorial. In fact, he did not die until 1971. If you have any information about E.R. Baker please email hsc@hornsby.nsw.gov.au.

Those who are remembered

Ernest Reginald Gordon Baker

Service number: 7653
Rank: Private
Regiment: 1st Australian General Hospital, Army Medical Corp
Place of enlistment: Berowra
Date of death:
Place of death:
Relationships: Son of John Edward Baker and Ellen Baker of “Bundabarra”, Berowra, NSW, Australia
Civil employment: Clerk
Details: Private Ernest Gordon-Baker was not a casualty of the war, he returned to Australia on 3 April 1919. Ernest Gordon-Baker married Marjorie Evans in 1932 and died in 1971. We believe he is the person listed on the memorial.

John William Frederick Coyle

Service number: 5058
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: 4th Battalion, Australian Infantry
Age: 24
Place of enlistment: Darlinghurst, NSW
Date of death: 13 April 1918
Place of death: Strazeele, France
Memorial/cemetery: Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, France
Relationships: Relationships: Brother of Miss A. Coyle of Baron Avenue, Darlinghurst, NSW
Civil employment: Storeman
Details: John Coyle was standing in the paddock of the local brewery when he was killed by shrapnel from an enemy high explosive shell.  His Attestation Papers have Miss Coyle’s address as Berowra. This has been crossed out and Baron Avenue has been written in its place.

Photograph of the medals awarded to John Coyle

Click on image for a larger version

Francis Richard Edleston

Service number: 436
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: 33rd Battalion, Australian Infantry
Age: 40
Place of enlistment: Hornsby, NSW
Date of death: 20 June 1918
Place of death: Villers Bretonneux, France
Memorial/cemetery: Aubigny British Cemetery, (Somme), France.
Relationships: Son of Mrs & Mrs Edleston of Blackburn, England.
Civil employment: Carpenter
Details: Killed in action by an exploding shell while returning from repairing a telephone line.
He had previously been wounded on three occasions and his name was placed on record for “conspicuous gallantry” on 18 June 1917. He is also listed on the Hornsby War Memorial which has his name engraved as Eddleston.

Extract from Francis Edelston's Casualty FormImage of John Coyle's Attestation paper

Click on images for larger versions

Ernest Howard Jefferys

Photograph of the original grave of Ernest Jefferys

Service number: 747
Rank: Corporal Cadet.
Regiment: 6th Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
Age: 23
Place of enlistment: Kuring-gai, NSW
Date of death: 28 August 1918
Place of death: Leighterton, Gloucestershire, England
Memorial/cemetery: Leighterton Church Cemetery, Gloucestershire, England
Relationships: Son of Peter and Rose Elizabeth Howard Jefferys, of the Railway Station, Kuring-gai, NSW
Civil employment: Electrician
Details: Cadet Jefferys is listed as having died in an aeroplane accident while training to become a Flying Officer Pilot. He collided with another aircraft. On the same day 2 other Australians died at Leighterton, Lieutenant Charles Scott and 2nd Lieutenant Roy Cummings. All 23 war dead in the Leighterton cemetery belong to the Australian Flying Corp, who where based at the 6th Training Squadron, Leighterton.

Witness Statement into the death of Ernest Jefferys

Click on image for a larger version

David Thornton Mckean

Photograph of David McKean

Service number: 6677
Rank: Sapper
Regiment: 7th Field Company, Engineers
Age: 39
Place of enlistment: Berowra, NSW
Date of death: 14 November 1916
Place of death: Somme, France
Memorial/cemetery: Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France
Relationships: Son of William and Mary Thornton McKean; husband of Mrs. Belle McKean, of "Wharekaka," Berowra, NSW
Civil employment: Plasterer
Details: Killed in action

Photograph of medals awarded to David McKean

Click on image for a larger version

Edward Howard Pickard

Service number: 10083
Rank: Private.
Regiment: 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps
Age: 45
Place of enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Date of death: 4 August 1917
Place of death:
Memorial/cemetery: Godewaersvelde British Cemetery, France
Relationships: Son of Thomas and Martha Pickard, of Dilly Brook Farm, North Bradley, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England.
Civil employment: Poultry Farmer
Details: On the 28 July 1917 Edward Pickard was awarded the Military Medal for “Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty”. On the 10th April 1917 he remained in a destroyed gun pit, which was under heavy fire, attending to the wounded and between 14th April and 18th April 1917 he “behaved excellently under heavy shell fire, and though himself badly shaken, remained on duty attending casualties”. He had previously “done excellent work” at Ypres and the Somme.
On the 28 September 1917 he was posthumously awarded a Bar to his Military Medal. The citation stated that on the 28th July 1917 “although severely wounded in three places, including a broken leg Pickard’s first thought …was for his wounded comrades” His battery position was destroyed by enemy shell fire and one man was killed and 4 others, including Pickard, were wounded.
Edward Pickard’s address at the time of enlistment was given as Berowra.

Letter giving details of the injuries sustained by Edward Pickard

Click on image for a larger version

Robert Malcolm Turner

Photograph of Robert Turner

Service number: 5794
Rank: Private
Regiment: 13th Battalion Australian Infantry
Age: 25
Place of enlistment: Marrickville, NSW
Date of death: 28 November 1916
Place of death: Beaulincourt, France
Memorial/cemetery: Bancourt British Cemetery, France
Relationships: Son of Charles James and Caroline Turner, of 87, John St., Petersham, NSW.
Civil employment: Clerk
Details: Killed in action. On his embarkation record his address is given as Railway St, Epping, NSW, but he is not listed on the Epping War Memorial. Charles Turner was a property developer with large land holdings in the Berowra district.

Image of Robert Turner's Attestation papers

Click on image for a larger version