A special book of remembrance

One of Local Studies’ treasures is the Drummoyne War Service Record which records the names of service men and women of the First World War. The calligraphy and title page illustrations are by Drummoyne resident and ‘lithographic artist’ Henry John Allcock Baron while the morocco binding is by Wal Taylor, a noted craftsman bookbinder of the 1920s.

The title page of the Drummoyne War Service Record includes an illustration of the sinking of the German cruiser SMS Emden by HMAS Sydney, the first victory of the Royal Australian Navy. A recent addition to Canada Bay Connections is a letter from Cecil Rhoades to Charles McIlwaine written from the HMAS Sydney on 22 April 1917. The letter thanks the recipient for the Christmas parcel which had only just arrived and expresses how much the men enjoyed the cake. The three page letter does not mention anything about the ‘Syd’ (as Cecil calls the ship) or the war, as he writes ‘we get plenty of news … but have to keep it’.

The Drummoyne War Service Record can be viewed on flickr.

Posted on November 5, 2012, in Drummoyne, More than just a name and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The work may have been a labour of love for Henry John Allcock Baron. It is touching to note that Henry and Emily Baron’s only son, Harley James Baron, was listed amongst ‘those who made the supreme sacrifice’. Harley Baron was killed in action in Belgium on 2 September 1916, aged 22 years 11 months.

  2. John R. Turner, who restored the Drummoyne War Service Record for the library in 2014, passed on some additional background detail from The Brisbane Courier, 28 December 1929:


    Though it has not yet become a fashion, Mr. Walter Taylor, whose work as a book binder is well known in Brisbane, has received several orders for sumptuously bound visitors’ books. They have come from Mrs. W. C. Busby, of Westbury, Tasmania; Mrs, F. B. L. Falkiner, of ‘Foxton’, near Canberra; Mr. A. I. Busby, of Cassells (N.S.W.); and Mr. Noel S. Griffin, also of Cassells. The visitors’ book is used for other purposes besides that suggested by its name, family records being kept in the volume.

    For Mrs. Falkiner, Mr. Taylor is now preparing a large war memorial book, which she proposes to present to the town of Albury, it will contain 3000 names, all of which will be hand lettered. Besides his work as a binder, Mr. Taylor is director of the Grosvenor Galleries, where a number of important exhibitions are held, during the year. Born at Brisbane, he studied at the Technical College, and worked at the Government Printing Office until he joined up for the war. After serving with the A.I.F. from 1915 to the Armistice, he studied bookbinding under Fred Marriott at the Goldsmith’s School, and under Peter M’Leish at one of the London County Council schools.’

    When restoring the Drummoyne War Service Record, John noticed that Wal Taylor had blind stamped his initials ‘W. T.’ in the morrocco, just below the rear endpaper. It’s customary for bookbinders to discretely ‘sign’ their bindings. This may, perhaps, have been the first time his mark had been noticed on this book.

  3. Intriguingly, the Drummoyne War Service Record states that ‘a duplicate copy of this Record is also presented for reference’. So what happened to the other copy? The answer appears to be that it is contained within the Drummoyne War Memorial. A report of the unveiling of the Drummoyne War Memorial in 1928 states that ‘Sir Thomas Henley, M.L.A., placed in a receptacle in the memorial a steel shell containing the Drummoyne war record.’ see http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16459989 (Sydney Morning Herald, 26 April 1928, page 12.)

    Sir Thomas Henley’s son Harold Leslie Henley is listed amongst ‘those who made the supreme sacrifice’ See blog post ‘More than just a name’

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