Catherine Park | ANZAC

ANZAC Commemoration

The Macarthur area has a new ANZAC display commemorating two local WW1 diggers. The commemorations are focused on two local servicemen who did not return after service in Gallipoli in 1915; Camden farmer Hector Small and Camden tailor Milton Thornton.

Harrington Estates, commissioned the project as they feel strongly about respecting the past and honouring the fact that any community developments owe a great deal to the freedoms that the ANZACs secured. The commemorations include displays and books available for all to view and read at Catherine Park House.

anzac update

In 1914 the population of Camden was just over 1000 people. The lives of many families were interlinked both by industry and often by blood, close relationships were held dear and the very fabric of the society was based on building the community.

On August 9th, 1914, The Rev. J. G. Martin of the Methodist Church addressed the citizens of Camden at a service in Macarthur Park:

“The call to arms has reached our shores, and Australia has responded with one voice; and within a few days her sons, and daughters too, will leave for the scene of conflict, one to fight for the empire, the other to minister to sick and wounded and dying.”

WWI Recruitment

From this close-knit population of just over 1000, 492 men and women volunteered for active service. The World War I Roll of Honour for the district lists 93 soldiers who died.

To Milton Thornton and Hector Small. On behalf of our grateful nation, we honour these ANZACs and commemorate their sacrifice.


Milton Frank Thornton

Milton Frank Thornton


Australia might have been far away when Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, but the call to arms was heard loud and clear.

Within weeks, a young tailor’s apprentice from Camden, Milton Frank Thornton, volunteered his service to his country, lining up to enlist with other eager young recruits on Tuesday September 1, 1914 at Kensington racecourse in Sydney’s east.


29th March 1895
Camden, NSW, Australia


19th May 1915, (age 20)
Gallipoli, Turkey. Killed in Action


4th Battalion Parade
Ground Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey


Soldiers’ Memorial Macarthur Park, Camden

“A man of fine physique – he was a good athlete. As a long-distance cyclist he was well-known in the Camden district, and he proved himself an able exponent of boxing and wrestling. As a compulsory trainee, he was a first-class shot. He met his death while sniping in the trenches.”

Men of the Dardanelles, Sydney Morning Herald. 23rd July 1915


Hector Small

Hector Small


Upon news of the declaration of war, a young farmer from Camden, Hector Small, turned to his wife of only 3 months, Alice and simply said, “I think I ought to go.”

On August 26, 1914, just three weeks later, Hector signed up for the Australian Imperial Force at Rosebery Park racecourse, south of Sydney.

A natural horseman who had been a member of the local Light Horse Brigade, Hector was assigned the 1st Light Horse Regiment at Rosebery Park.


9th June 1892
Theresa Park, NSW, Australia


4th July 1915, (age 22)
Cairo, Egypt


Lance Corporal, 1st Australian
Light Horse Regiment


Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt


Soldiers’ Memorial Macarthur Park, Camden
St Paul’s Anglican Church, Cobbitty

“As I write now, I can see him in my mind’s eye, sitting at the side of my dug-out, in the dusk, waiting for the other fellows to assemble for our little prayer and scripture reading. He was a power for good in our midst, and [that] is great comfort to us now that he is gone.”

Colonel Chaplain Ernest Merrington, Presbyterian Clergy

Milton Thornton


Born in Camden


Attended Camden Public School


Apprentice to J Pinkerton,
Tailor, Camden

1914 4th August
Australia pledges support for Britain in war declaration


1st September – Enlisted

20th October – Departed Sydney
on HMAT Euripides


25th April – Part of a second and third wave of landings at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli Peninsula

19th May – Killed in action, Gallipoli Peninsula

Hector Small


Born in Theresa park


School at Theresa


Farmer in Camden Area
Joined local Light Horse Brigade.

1914 4th August
Australia pledges support for Britain in war declaration


29th April – Married Ms Alice Mildred Stafford of ‘Passchendaele’, Brownlow Hill, Camden 26th August – Amongst the first to enlist

20th October – Departed Sydney on HMAT Star of Victoria with 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment


12th May – Landed at Anzac Cove

4th July – Died in Cairo, Egypt

Each year on April 25th we commemorate those who served and died in honour of our country with an Anzac march held down Argyle Street, Camden, just as enlistment marches were held there 100 years ago. In the Camden district, as all across the nation, Lest We Forget.

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