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Life in a War Memorial: ANZAC Cottage

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48 Year Dawn Ritual
John Porter and two old friends enjoying the front garden of ANZAC Cottage
John Porter and two old friends enjoying the front garden of ANZAC Cottage.

The iconic ANZAC Cottage built in one day on February 12, 1916 by the community of Mount Hawthorn as a home for a returned wounded soldier and his family and as a memorial for those who lost their lives in the tragic Gallipoli landing. Here what it was like for the Porter Family, living in a war memorial for nearly half a century.

Officially opened on April 15, 1916 with the honour of living in Anzac Cottage given to Private Cuthbert John Porter, who returned wounded on the first Ballarat landing at Albany on July 31, 1915. Private Porter and his family lived in the Cottage until his death in 1964. Formally taking over the property on April 16, 1916 and raising the Australian flag every dawn for 48 years.

Living in a War Memorial

Anne Chapple, the granddaughter of Private Porter will explore what life was like for the Porter family living in a war memorial and the impact that the war had on a veteran and his family. Anne visited her grandfather many times during her childhood, often spending school holidays in ANZAC Cottage.


Top left: Marjorie and Joan. Top right: Annie Porter and Ted Williams. Above: Aunty Nancy and Uncle Ted (check the dog's feet). Hear Anne tell their stories and more.
Top left: Marjorie and Joan. Top right: Annie Porter and Ted Williams. Above: Aunty Nancy and Uncle Ted (check the dog's feet). Hear Anne tell their stories and more.

There are many impressive monuments, but memorials built and maintained by local communities enshrine that personal commitment in keeping the ANZAC spirit alive. The carefully maintained War Memorials in our suburbs, towns and local communities, well attended on ANZAC Day are living proof.

However, ANZAC Cottage, a War Memorial in which a family lived and called home for nearly half a century, daily reminded of war and its consequences, must raise many questions. This not to be missed talk by Anne will explore this unique situation.

ANZAC Cottage in 1916, ready for John Porter and his family
ANZAC Cottage in 1916, ready for John Porter and his family.

ANZAC Cottage, at No.38 Kalgoorlie Street in Mount Hawthorn, has a unique history, Constructed as a practical monument to commemorate the Anzac's participation in the First World War, the first memorial to the Great War to be built in Australia. Open to the public on the first Sunday of each month from 1.00pm to 4.00pm, offering free entry and afternoon tea for a gold coin donation. All are welcome to attend and learn more about its unique history.

Remembrance Day Service November 8, 2015

A Remembrance Day Service will be held at ANZAC Cottage on Sunday, November 8 at 10.45am. The cottage will be open from 10.00am to 5.00pm.

Free White Crosses


Anyone who would like to honour their fallen ancestors or loved ones is welcome to participate by personalising the free white crosses obtainable from ANZAC Cottage.

Times available: November 1 from 1.00pm to 4.00pm, November 7 from 10.00am to 4.00pm and November 8 from 9.00am to 10:45am. Please note the name, appropriate dates, photographs and any other details.

The crosses will be part of a "Field of Remembrance" on the front lawn of ANZAC Cottage during the Remembrance Service at 10:45am on November 8. Times allotted not suitable, or seek more information, please contact Anne.

Friends of ANZAC Cottage has been set up to retain the connection of the cottage to the Mount Hawthorn and broader community. If you wish to know more about this event or would like further information about ANZAC Cottage, check out their Facebook page or call Anne on 0411 44 55 82.
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Why? Discover what was it like living in a War Memorial?
When: Sunday, November 1. Open from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. Talk starts at 2.30pm
Phone: Call Anne on 0411 44 55 82 or email chapan@highway1.com.au
Where: ANZAC Cottage, 38 Kalgoorlie Street, Mt Hawthorn
Cost: FREE to enter and hear talk. Gold coin donation for afternoon tea.
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