Where: 38 Kalgoorlie Street, Mount Hawthorn, WA,
ANZAC Cottage was built in one day on 12 February 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.
The ambitious project was initiated by the Mount Hawthorn Progress Association and supported eagerly and enthusiastically by the community with donations and contributions, made to ensure that the cottage that was to be built would be a suitable memorial for the Gallipoli veterans.
Located at No.38 Kalgoorlie Street in Mount Hawthorn, Anzac Cottage was the first memorial to the Great War to be constructed in Western Australia and only the second in Australia.
The site was cleared in one day on 29 January 1916. The following Saturday, 70 drays, laden with building material, formed a procession from James Street the site in Kalgoorlie Street which was to be called "Anzac Cottage". Construction of the brick and tile cottage began at 3:30am on 12 February 1916, coordinated by builder Sidney Gibson. By 5pm the flag was raised with the letters A.N.Z.A.C embroidered on it. By the end of the day, the lawn has been laid and the fence erected and the project declared a success. The house was officially opened on 15 April 1916 with the honour of living in Anzac Cottage given to Private Cuthbert John Porter, a returned wounded ANZAC soldier.
Designed by architect Alfred Levido, the Cottage has been described as an "upgraded" worker's cottage, with 'Federation Queen Anne' details, including a variety of pressed metal ceilings.
Private Porter lived in the Cottage until his death in 1964 and his family continued to live there until 1971.
The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia WA Branch Inc., took ownership of the very rundown cottage in 1991. In cooperation with experts who formed the Anzac Cottage Restoration Group, a grant from the Lotteries Commission, financial assistance from the Department of Conservation and Heritage and Department of Veterans Affairs, plus the generosity of many donors, the VVAAWA restored the building as closely as possible to its original condition. This process took ten years.
On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Anzac Cottage, ownership was transferred to the City of Vincent with a lease on a peppercorn rental arrangement by the Vietnam Veterans Association of Western Australian. A sub-committee entitled “Friends of Anzac Cottage” was set up to retain the connection of the cottage to the Mount Hawthorn and broader community.
Years later the Cottage still stands and commands respect from all who visit it. The Centenary was celebrated in February 2016 and during its lifetime, the building has weathered dramas of ownership, of neglect and of triumph. It has seen ownership change and perspectives of its use modified, but the fabric and intent of that decision long ago by the Mount Hawthorn Progress Association still remains.
The Cottage, which is on the City’s Municipal Heritage Inventory, was State Heritage listed in 2000 and is also recognised on the Register of the National Estate and classified by the National Trust.
Local schools and other interested groups may visit the cottage by prior arrangement.
Anzac Cottage is open to the public on the first Sunday of each month from 1pm to 4pm and has special commemorations on 12 February (the anniversary of the cottage’s construction), 25 April (ANZAC Day), 19 August (Vietnam Veterans Day) and 11 November (Remembrance Day) each year.
Arrangements can be made for groups to visit throughout the year.
For more information please contact Anne Chapple on 0411 44 55 82 or email email@example.com
Great radio story to listen to
Reporter Kimberly Howie and heritage expert Richard Offen look at the history of Anzac Cottage in Mount Hawthorn. Listen to a radio episode of 720 ABC radio Perth's 'what’s all that about? click here.
Anzac Cottage – Educational Resources
If you’re visiting the Cottage with students or simply want to learn more, then the documents below can be downloaded to assist you. They provide suggestions for visits to Anzac Cottage by groups of school children, and aim to engage children in their understanding and appreciation of the story of Anzac Cottage.
State Library resource
The State Library has digitised the Anzac Cottage Souvenir booklet created in 1916; the link to their catalogue is here.