1920: St John’s Creswick, Stoker Thomas Charles Joseph Berry memorial.

Artist/Studio: William Montgomery, Melbourne, c.1920.
Location: Creswick, Victoria, Australia.
Building: St John’s CofE Church, Creswick.
Stoker Thomas Charles Joseph Berry.
Donor: The crew of H.M.A.S. Sydney
Status: Extant
Photos dated: 15/05/2011

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The Ballarat Star, Vic, Wednesday 8th December 1920, page 6.



Twelve months ago a great bereavement befell Mr and Mrs J. T. Berry, of Lincoln Hill, Creswick, when their son, Stoker Thomas Charles Joseph Berry, was drowned. The young man was of fine character, and greatly liked and respected by all who knew him. He joined the Australian Navy, and was attached to the H.M.A.S. Sydney. When off Port Darwin on 6th December, 1919, he was bathing in the sea with some of his messmates, and he was missed by them. A search was made, and his body was found at a depth of about 60 feet, have been [sic] washed from the shallows by the ocean currents. The following day the body was consigned to the sea. The great esteem in which Stoker Berry was held by his comrades on the Sydney was soon evidenced, for they raised a sum of money with which to erect a memorial, and the location of that memorial was chosen in St John’s Church of England, Creswick, where their deceased comrade had worshiped prior to entering the navy. A suggestion that the memorial take the form of a brass eagle lectern could not be adopted, for the church already had a memorial lectern, and the proposal was made by the vicar (the Rev F. H. Ingamells) that a memorial window be placed in the church and this was adopted. The crew of the Sydney raised the sum of £50 for the purpose. A very fine stained glass window was secured, the design chosen being “The Light of the World.” with which was incorporated the coat of arms of the Sydney, consisting of a star, crown and anchor. The work of the artist, Mr Montgomery, was extremely well done, and another fine window adorns the beauty of the church. It was placed in its position beside the seat that the late Stoker Berry used to occupy, this work being entrusted to Mr Simon Jory, who carried out his task most creditably. Under the design of “The Light of the World” appear the words, “Lead, kindly Light, lead Thou me on.” Below is the ships coat of arms and “H.M.A.S. Sydney.” and the following:- “To the glory of God, and in loving memory of Stoker Thomas Charles Joseph Berry, of H.M.A.S. Sydney. A tribute from his comrades. “He did his duty, and did it well.” There was a special service in St John’s Church last Sunday morning, for the purpose of unveiling the memorial window, and there was a large congregation. A floral anchor had been thoughtfully placed on the pew of the Berry family. The lessons, prayers and hymns were appropriate to the occasion. The Rev. F. H. Ingamells, the vicar, conducted the service and the lessons were read by Sir A. J. Peacock (Minister for Education and Forests). The unveiling ceremony was performed by the vicar, prior to which Sir Alexander Peacock read the license from the diocesan authorities giving permission for the erection of the window. The vicar gave a very fine discourse.”

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2 comments on “1920: St John’s Creswick, Stoker Thomas Charles Joseph Berry memorial.

    • That would be and excellent addition to the history! Let me know if you publish it on-line and I will add a reciprocal link to it for you.



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