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Burns Philp & Company Honour RollPrint Page Print this page

20-April-2015
20-April-2015

Photographs supplied by Tim Fitzgerald

A marble honour roll commemorates employees of Burns Philp & Company who served in World War One.

The honour roll lists those who served by company offices.

Ronald Munro Ferguson, unveiled the honour roll at the premises of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Co., Ltd., Bridge-street, yesterday afternoon. His Excellency, who was attended by Captain H. H. Kilby, was received by the company's board—Sir James Burns, M.L.C., Mr. J. T. Walker, and Mr. P. G. Black. Amongst the visitors were Sir Owen Cox, Sir Samuel Hordern, Generals C. Cox, K. Finn, and G. Lee, Messrs. R. J. Black, M.L.C., A. W. Meeks, M.L.C., Adrian Knox, K.C., Kelso King, Gordon Wesche, E. C. Eliot. The following returned soldiers, members of the staff of the company, were also present Lieut. Mortlock, M.C., Capt. R. Thompson; Lieuts. Tindale, Browning, Cameron, W.O. Everett, Sgts. J. Virtue, H. Bliss, R. Richardson, Corpls, Dewey, H. Gow, Gunners V. Thompson, R. Peel, L. Ayers, J. Wood, Ptes. S. Nicholson, C. McForran, D. Nicholson, H. Elvington, W. Harvey, A. Kabbidge, Sinall, Tait, J. M'Culloch, K. Leigh.

Sir James Burns, in introducing his Excellency, said they were there to do honour to the gallant lads who went to the front. Some were wounded and others had fallen, but happily the majority had returned. "All," I added Sir James, "have done their duty well our hearts go out to them, and we are proud of what they have done. May God's blessing rest with them all. We grieve for our lost ones, while we rejoice in victory and peace." Before unveiling the roll of honour his Excellency addressed the gathering as follows:- "We meet here to commemorate a fine chapter in the history of this company. The marble slabs which we unveil today will serve to remind all future generations if clerks and employees of the firm that the services rendered to the country by those connected with Burns, Philp, and Company were not confined to the work-a-day transactions of business, but that, just as Clive left his desk in Madras to conquer India for the Crown, so 230 employees left these offices to defend Australia and the Empire in the greatest crisis of its history.

"The building in which the monument is placed is the property of the company. Portion was in German occupation at the outset of the war, but today we find it entirely in the possession of an Australian firm, and the centre of a great organisation engaged in a strenuous and fruitful effort to promote and extend British interests in the Pacific—a sphere in which Burns, Philp, and Co. have already shown so much successful enterprise and pioneering activity. "Huxley warned us once that commercial hostilities were as dangerous as military warfare, and Germany proved him right, for her first bid for world domination was an attempt to fetter or capture commerce, and it was not until she deemed her grasp on trade and finance secure that she sought to subjugate mankind by military force. The commercial bonds she imposed on the trade of the world by her far-seeing policy and insidious penetration have, like her arrogant military domination have been shattered by our fleets and armies. Their work must be finished by our business men and captains of industry, who must be alert to seize every opening and make the most of the brief interval during which our greatest commercial rival will be incapable of competing on equal terms for trade supremacy. "The Pacific offers a fine and open sphere for such enterprise. I rejoice that an Australian firm is already in the field, and that at its head is a Scotsman of such tried and unrivalled capacity that we may be confident that, given favourable conditions at home, Sir James Burns, will carry the British Australian flag into every island and port of the Pacific.

"Those marble tablets bear the names of close on 25 per cent, of the company's staff, from the sons of its chief directors to the office boys. It is a noble record, and one of which the firm may well he proud. We regret that Mr. Adam Forsyth, one of the pillars of the firm, did not live to see this day, and it is as well to remember that the names of those who shouldered the whole burden of work and responsibility while the younger men went to fight, deserve also to be remembered in any record of the contribution made by Burns, Philp, and Co., to the service of the war." After the unveiling, buglers sounded the "Last Post," and the function terminated with the singing of the National Anthem, and with cheers for the King, and for his Excellency the Governor-General, who was presented with a handsome miniature jewel of the company's house flag as a memento of the occasion. 
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 17 July 1919.

Location

Address:7 Bridge Street, Financial and Energy Exchange Group (Burns Philp Building), Sydney, 2000
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.863678
Long: 151.208023
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Honour Roll
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW1
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 16th July, 1919
Left Side Inscription

WORLD WAR 1914 - 1918
HONOR ROLL - B. P. & Co. Ld.

Brisbane
​[ Names]

Townsville
​[ Names]

Cairns
​[ Names]

Solomon Is.
​[ Names]

Nukualofa
​[ Names]

Pt Moresby
​[ Names]

Haapai
​[ Names]

Wellington
​[ Name]

Samarai
​[ Name]

Vila
​[ Name]

Java
​[ Names]

London
​[ Names]

 

Right Side Inscription

WORLD WAR 1914 - 1918
HONOR ROLL- B. P. & Co. Ld.

Head Office
​[ Names]

B. P. & Co. Fleet
​[ Names]

Apia
​[ Name]

Melbourne
​[ Names]

Fremantle
​[ Names]

Geraldton
​[ Names]

Normanton
​[ Names]

Thursday Is.
​[ Name]

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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