Penrith’s incredible links to ANZAC legacy

Share this story

On Thursday, April 25, the nation will pause to reflect on the Australian lives lost in military operations overseas.

As ANZAC Day approaches, we look back at some of the people and stories linked to the Penrith area…

Alfred Boyton Walker

Alfred Boyton Walker was born in St Marys on August 13, 1885 and was the son of Alfred and Sarah Walker of St Marys and then New Zealand.

It is thought that this photograph shows Alfred in his military uniform following his enlistment with the New Zealand armed forces during the first World War. He died in 1935.

Alfred Boyton Walker.

Stanley Owen Stafford

Stanley Owen Stafford was born on February 11, 1894 at Lithgow. He attended Penrith Public School and was employed as a machinist and car driver after leaving school.

Between 1911 and 1913, Stafford served with the 19th Infantry Battalion, a local militia unit, before enlisting in the AIF. He embarked on A23 HMAT Suffolk which left Sydney on October 18, 1914 and arrived in Egypt on December 8, 1914.

Stafford underwent training in Egypt before embarking as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on the Derflinger in April 1915. He landed with the 2nd Battalion on April 25, 1915 and suffered gunshot wounds in the first few days of the Gallipoli campaign. He survived this attack and recovered, but was reported missing during the battle for Lone Pine. He was confirmed as killed.

Stanley Owen Stafford.

Edward Champness

Edward Champness was born on August 20, 1923 at St Marys to Edgar and Vera Champness. In 1941 he enlisted in the RAAF and in June 1943 was sent to England.

In April 1944 he was posted to 630 Squadron flying Lancasters from East Kirkby in Lincoln. His first mission was in April 1944 over central Germany.

He was killed on May 23, 1944 during a bombing raid over Brunswick, Germany. He is buried at the British War Cemetery Rheinberg, Germany.

Edward Champness.

Victor Lyne

Victor Lyne.

Victor Lyne, the son of Augustus and Laura Lyne and the younger brother of Penrith stock and station agent Cecil Lyne, was born at Nyngan in 1891. The Lyne family came from Tasmania. Before he enlisted he was working in the Commercial Bank at Gloucester. He enlisted at Rosehill, NSW. Lyne was killed in action on June 24, 1915.

Sydney Ellis Aubrey

Sydney Ellis Aubrey was born on November 30, 1882 at “Hillview” Penrith, the youngest son of David Aubrey and his wife Elizabeth. He was educated at Penrith Superior Public School.

Aubrey was very active in the Penrith community. He was a scout master, and expert horseman and marksman. He was a member of the Hawkesbury Half Squadron of Lancers for several years before assisting in the formation of the Penrith Half Squadron of Lancers.

Sydney Ellis Aubrey

He joined the army before the outbreak of war and served with the Field Artillery at Victoria Barracks, Sydney. On the outbreak of the war, he applied for active service and was appointed Corporal on August 30, 1914. He sailed for the war zone on October 18, 1914 aboard HMAT Argyllshire and disembarked in Egypt. He was sent to Gallipoli with his unit and received a shotgun wound to the chest on July 11, 1915.

After being successfully operated on for the removal of a bullet and a few weeks rest, he returned to duty.

He was wounded on September 28, 1915 when a bullet struck him in the neck and penetrated his lung. He died shortly afterward and was buried in Gallipoli.

Henry Holliday and Constance Neale

Constance Neale married Henry Alston Stanley Holliday on April 3, 1917 at Penrith. Stanley, as he was known, had served with 56th Battalion between July 2, 1915 and October 16, 1916.

Constance enlisted as a nurse with the Australian Army Nursing Service on July 31, 1915. She served in Egypt and England. Constance Margaret Neale died on May 17, 1972, and is buried with her husband and son in Macquarie Park Cemetery in Ryde.

This photograph was taken on their wedding day.

Henry Holliday and Constance Neale

Joyce Haynes

Joyce Carter, later Haynes, is reading a letter from Scottie Gow who served in World War II. Agnes Banks can be seen in the background, on the left. The gravel crusher at McCann’s Island can also be seen in the background. The small house at the right belonged to the McHugh family, then the Billington family.

Joyce Haynes.

Eileen Elizabeth Pike

This photograph shows Eileen Pike in army uniform at Lemongrove Road in Penrith in 1942.

Share this story