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William Thompson Masonic Schools First World War Memorial

William Thompson Masonic Schools First World War Memorial
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Description / Background

The First World War memorial at Balcombe Heights Estate is the second memorial for the Masons of NSW who made the supreme sacrifice.

This memorial was built and installed in 2007 and stands an impressive 4 meters high with a width of 1.755 meters. Inside the 8 mm thick steel surround with the veteran soldiers outlined cut out, there are four glass plate panels 12 mm thick with the names of all the NSW Masons who died in the First World War. Each of the glass panels is 1 meter tall and 1.6 meters wide. Behind the memorial stands the flag pole, approximately 6 meters tall. Around the base of the memorial, the surrounding area is planted with rosemary in a natural bush setting.

The memorial stands at the beginning of the Avenue of Remembrance (commenced in 1922) and it is lined with Lophostemon Confertus (syn. Tristania Conferta) otherwise known as Brush Box trees. Each tree was planted to honour the memory of Freemasons from NSW who laid down their lives for our country in the First World War. The names of each of the 361 veterans were engraved onto a metal plate and attached to the trees in 1939 and the children from the Masonic School were given a tree to attend to. 

Since May 2013, the memorial has been upgraded. Before Remembrance Day, November 2018 in-ground flood lights, new curbed and guttering roadway and a walkway have been installed. Two new brick walls had two bronze plaques attached. 

This memorial has no inscription exept for the veterans names engraved into the glass plate panels.

The first memorial (located in the Masonic Centre in Sydney) lists 361 of 3077 NSW Masons who saw active service in the in the the Great War 1914 - 1919. This memorial is made of marble with engraved lettering along with the Masons respective Lodges.

It is to be noted the first memorial at the Masonic Centre in Sydney has 361 names engraved in the marble. However, in the Freemason magazine of 8 December 1920 it states at the unveiling of the memorial that 362 Masons will never return. Also in the publication ‘A Start in life’ The history of the William Thompson Masonic Schools 1922-1988, it states there were 362 names on the memorial and 364 trees planted in the Avenue of Remembrance. Further research is required.

Additional information:

  • The Masonic Centre in Sydney.
  • The Hills District Historical Society Inc.
  • The Hills Shire Council.
  • Council owned heritage and places to visit, Baulkham Hills Shire Council, The History of Baulkham Hills by Eric Rainbow H.M.R.A.H.S. ISBN 0 9593251 2 3.
  • ‘A Start in Life’ The History of the William Thompson Masonic School 1922 -1988 by Beverley Earnshaw. The book was published by The William Thompson Masonic School Council 1988. National Library of Australia, Catalogue Card Number and ISBN 0 7426 3333 4.

Veterans listed on this memorial

Last held rank Given name Family name Conflict/s Service No. Service Campaign Read more
Sergeant FA Abbott World War 1 3170 Army France view
Corporal AE Agutter World War 1 34686 Army view
Driver / Private FA Agutter World War 1 870 Army Egypt view
Private AW Aitchison World War 1 1128 Army Gallipoli view
Corporal FA Angelinetta World War 1 11 Army France view
Private W Armitage World War 1 1650 Army Gallipoli view
Lance Corporal JS Ashby World War 1 1901 Army Egypt view
Private H Ashton World War 1 4126 Army Belgium view
Second Lieutenant HA Atkins World War 1 Army France view
Private EF Bailey World War 1 175 Army Australia view

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Address
92 Seven Hills Road,
Balcombe Heights Estate,
Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
Local Government Area
The Hills Shire
Setting
Garden/park
Memorial type
Statue/sculpture/artwork
Recorded by
Ronald L McIntosh
Year of construction
2007
Conflict/s
First World War, 1914–18