Wednesday 9 April 2008 by Mel Hunt. 1 comment
Collection, Ephemera

This honour roll was recently rediscovered in the Memorial's Research Centre during a cataloguing project focusing on documenting our oversize maps and souvenirs. Almost two metres in height and one metre in width, the honour roll consists of over 1,100 signatures, unit names, and hand drawn colour patches, insignia and medals of World War I veteran sailors, soldiers and nurses of all ranks.

 Autographs and Colours of soldiers and nurses who have taken part in the Great War and of sailors of the Grand Fleet, 1914-1919 Honour Roll: Autographs and Colours of soldiers and nurses who have taken part in the Great War and of sailors of the Grand Fleet, 1914-1919 RC06408

Download RC06408 (PDF 2.8MB)

Notable signatures include a number of Victoria Cross recipients, the Prince of Wales (dated 23.6.1920), the Duke and Duchess of York (dated 3.4.1927), British Admiral of the Fleet Earl Jellicoe, Fleet Admiral Halsey, aviators Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith, various New South Wales Governors, General W.R. Birdwood, Lieut. General Harry Chauvel, and Charles Kingsford Smith.

First offered for loan to the Memorial in 1925, the honour roll was initially declined due to its size and the lack of storage and exhibition space available to the Memorial at the time. Later, in September 1941, the owner, a Miss A. Ethelwyn Barling offered the roll again and it was accepted as a donation by the Acting Director of the Memorial at the time, Sir Tasman Heyes as a ‘most welcome and cherished addition to our collections'.

Arranging for safe transport of an item of this size from its home in Mosman N.S.W. to the Memorial was no easy task and took several months to arrange. The owner Miss Barling had to co-ordinate with the tenants occupying her home, in which the roll was framed and hung, for a suitable time for an agent of the Memorial to inspect the roll. At the same time the Memorial had to arrange an agent from a local legal firm T.H. Young of Sydney to inspect and suitably package the honour roll in its frame and freight the lot by goods rail to the Memorial, where it arrived safely in November 1941.

Notations on the back of the honour roll indicate that it was designed and executed by John Barling and the signatures collected by Miss Barling over a period of some years, during her service as a Voluntary Aid in Sydney, N.S.W.

It's a wonderful example of the types of honour rolls and souvenirs that were created in memory of those who served.


malcolm robertson

There was an image of the 1,100 signatures before, including my grandfathers. It appears to have disappeared. Could you please tell me where it is ?