Paddington War Memorial, 1987 (Photo: Woollahra History and Heritage Society)
Some years after the close of the war, the trustees of the Paddington Soldier Memorial determined to build a permanent monument to local residents who had volunteered for service. In 1922, the trustees enlisted the aid of the mayor of Paddington to negotiate with the Methodist Church to obtain a piece of land for this purpose. The church agreed to the proposal and transferred a portion of its land at the corner of Oxford and Newcombe Streets to Paddington Council and a memorial was duly built on this site by the citizens of Paddington.
The memorial, with the names of local residents who served in the war engraved on the pedestal base, was dedicated "in honor of the Paddington men who fought and in loving memory of those who fell during the Great War 1914-1918". It was unveiled by Sir Walter Davidson, Governor of NSW, on Sunday 19 November 1922 with the 1st Battalion providing a guard of honour and the bands of the Royal Australian Naval Reserve and 1st Battalion playing the music for the hymns.
Anzac Day March down Oxford Street, Paddington, 1995
At the unveiling, the governor took up a story that had been run in the Sydney Mail a number of years earlier in August 1916. The paper had then featured the men of Bent Street who had volunteered for active service - 29 men had enlisted from a street with only 30 houses. The McColl family had four sons fighting at the front and their mother spoke of her concern for her sons:
The boys just took it in their heads to go. I didn't want to stop them when they were so anxious. Of course it hurt me to part with them especially with Harold, for he was only 17 when he left. He was at the Gallipoli landing, and also at the evacuation and spent five months in hospital in England after being wounded. He's back again at the front now with his brothers and I hope they come through all right.
—Sydney Mail, 9 August 1916, p.12
With the widening of Oxford Street in 1940, the memorial was moved from its original location to the Oxford Street frontage of Victoria Barracks.
As well as the war memorial, the residents of Paddington and the council erected other memorials in honour of those who fought in the war. In 1916, Paddington Council agreed to a request from the Paddington Soldiers and Sailors Committee to erect three temporary honour boards in front of the Paddington Town Hall. The boards, donated by Messrs G.P Jones and Sons, held the names of almost 800 Paddington residents who served in the war. Due to renovations at the town hall in 1923, the boards were removed and a fund was established in order to finance replacement boards.
Proposed Paddington Honour Board, 1923 (Paddington Council Triennial Report 1923-1925)
Two memorials in honour of those who enlisted from the western section of Paddington were unveiled on 20 September 1919. Reported in the Sunday Times, the first memorial – "an obelisk of free stone with marble tablets recording the soldiers' names" – was installed at the intersection of Comber and Boundary Streets, while the second memorial was a column in Albion Avenue which also served "the utilitarian purpose of lighting the roadway" (Sunday Times, 21 September 1919, p.5).