Category Archives: war

Peace At Last


This beautiful photograph above comes from the Davis family collection. It shows long term Berowra resident, Neil Davis, aged fourteen who was taken into the city by his older sister, Elaine.

Neil and Elaine are wearing French tricolour ribbons as a mark of their patriotic support and happiness on this day of the Japanese surrender, 15th August, 1945. In 1922 a bronze palm leaf with a tricolour sash had been presented on behalf of the then French president to the Australian Prime Minister, Billy Hughes to honour those Australians who gave their lives in the First World War.

The young brother and sister who like so many knew the pain of the loss, or life changing injury, of close friends or family members, are standing with the excited crowds in Martin Place, Sydney. Elaine’s husband, Bill Foster was still serving with the navy in the Pacific at the time.

News of the Japanese surrender had spread around the world, finally the war in Asia and the Pacific was over, the horrific Second World War was over. Neil recalls that, in those days, it was exceptional to take a trip to the city from Berowra. This day everything was extraordinary, the spontaneous celebration, the relief, the euphoria, the war on Australia’s door step was over, the lucky ones were coming home, people danced in the streets, victory and peace at last.


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Is This A Mystery Man?

portrait of ww1 mystery man Apr 2015

The accompanying portrait was found in a street clean up and rescued by a local resident. This engaging image could be a painting or a photograph but has been altered and suffered minor damage to the surface. Recently it was given to the Berowra RSL Sub-Branch Secretary who is keen to identify the subject.

The Secretary, Sandra Hawkins, has researched and found the following- The man is wearing a World War 1 uniform with a (blue over green) colour patch  indicating he was a member of the 13th Infantry Battalion.This Battalion was recruited in New South Wales and with the 14th,15th and 16th Battalions formed the 4th Brigade, commanded by Colonel John Monash.

However on the reverse of the portrait along with written instructions about hair, eyes, complexion and altering the neck scarf is the note (purple over green). Which would indicate this man belonged to the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the 1st Brigade.This Battalion along with the 1st,3rd, and 4th Battalions was recruited in New South Wales.

Both the 13th battalion of the 4th Brigade and the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Brigade landed at ANZAC Cove late in the afternoon of 25th April 1915.These Battalions served at ANZAC Cove until the evacuation in December 1915.

DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN? If you can assist Sandra in identifying him please contact her on 9456 2621

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