Some Notable People of Warrimoo
1. William Dawes 1762-1836
|William Dawes--the first recorded European to have passed through 'Warrimoo', did so in 1789, in a direct 'line of march' from Mt. Riverview to Mt. Hay (then called 'Round Hill'--visible from Warrimoo).|
However, two years earlier this same William Dawes, along with Watkin Tench, had discovered the
In other words, Dawes scaled the escarpment at present day
Dawes and his small party marched on, and most of the conjecture (Dawes did not keep a detailed diary--merely some trigonometric readings and his distance covered) has him stopping somewhere between
2) Sir Arthur Rickard
(Sir) Arthur Rickard—Biography
Arthur Rickard (1868-1948), real estate developer, was born on 17 November 1868 at Currawang near Lake George, New South Wales, son of Cornish parents William Heath Rickard, miner, and his wife Mary, née Bennett. At 13 he left Bathurst Public School and found employment with E. Webb & Co., hardware merchants.
Moving to Sydney aged 17, he worked for Tillock & Co., wholesale grocers, as a commercial traveller. On 28 February 1889, at the age of 21, he married Annie Eliza Addy, at Waverley. The marriage was not a happy one. Possibly Arthur considered Annie inferior to his ambitions. She may have been a ‘loose woman’ or a drinker, for despite giving birth to two children in the marriage, she lost them. Rickard divorced Annie in December 1901 and gained custody of their son and daughter. On 19 March 1902 he married Nellie Crudge, daughter of architect Thomas Rowe, at St Mark's, Darling Point.
By 1893 Rickard had set up as a mercantile broker and agent for Chaleyer Fisher & Co. Ltd, East India merchants of Melbourne. He himself began importing and about 1899 entered the wholesale grocery business with S. A. Joseph. They secured some government contracts but had trouble with imported foodstuffs infested with weevils.
In 1904 Governor Sir Harry Rawson objected to Rickard's proposed appointment as Portuguese consul because Joseph & Rickard had been found supplying goods 'unfit for human consumption' to asylums. Late in the year, in financial difficulties, they broke up the partnership.
Governor Sir Harry Holdsworth Rawson (1843-1910). He was Governor of NSW from 1902 to 1909--'Straight forward to the verge of bluntness', he refused to appoint the ambitious Arthur Rickard Portuguese Consul on the grounds of his suspect dealings.
In 1905 he subdivided 152 acres (62 ha) at Woy Woy into waterfront residential sites, poultry farms and orchard blocks. A superb self-publicist, in 1909 he launched Rickard's Realty Review, a quarterly (sometimes monthly) magazine which continued to appear until 1927. 'Rickard's Solar System' described a map of Sydney with a series of radiating arcs and dots pinpointing the extent of his land offerings. On his return from Europe in 1912 the Sun named him as 'Sydney's subdivisional specialist'.
By 1916 the 'Solar System' extended to Wyong, the Blue Mountains and Port Hacking. He even persuaded the railway commissioners to build stations at Warrimoo (1918) and Bullaburra (1925) to service his estates. In July 1918 the Review declared that members of the firm were 'fowlanthropists'—specialists in poultry farmlets. Rickard House at 84 Pitt Street opened about 1920.
Arthur Rickard's offices in Pitt Street, photographed in the 1920's. Rickard became one of the biggest developers in Sydney during this period, although the Great Depression dragged him back, somewhat.
Inside the Millions Club, 1924--as a foundation member, Rickard presided over this club, while he was also pre-eminent in the Japan-Australia Society. You will note a Japanese naval officer in the foreground of this photograph. (Photo courtesy of http://sirarthurrickardblogspot)
Rickard attacked the failure of State governments to populate Australia and called on the Commonwealth to take over migration. He was active on the executives of organizations which aimed to foster migrants, including the State branches of the New Settlers' League of Australia, the Big Brother Movement, Dr Barnardo's Homes and the British Empire League.
French Aerial Daredevil Maurice Guillot (Guillaux): without Rickard's sponsorship, he would not have made the first airmail flight from Melbourne to Sydney in 1914. The flight took nine and a half hours. (Photo courtesy of http://sirarthurrickardblogspot)
Rickard (at Left) photographed at Martin Place with Eric Campbell, one of the more notorious right-wing figures of NSW politics in the 1930's
The Floral Clock at Taronga Park Zoo, which became an icon as memorable as the Elephant Rides at the Zoo. Rickard's profile remained large in the 1920's due to such notable generosity--he was a master of self promotion
In the same year, the family's heavily mortgaged mansion—Berith Park at Wahroonga—was sold and they moved to a more modest home at Killara.
In a city preoccupied with real estate Rickard was the outstanding land developer of his era, his extroverted personality showed through most of his advertisements. He died in the Scottish Hospital, Paddington, on 13 April 1948 and was cremated. His wife, their two sons and two daughters, and the children of his first marriage survived him. His eldest son Lieutenant-Colonel A. L. Rickard, M.C., D.S.O., served in both world wars and his youngest son Douglas was chairman of the Australian Postal Commission in the 1970s. Sir Arthur left a modest estate valued for probate at £12,623. His portrait by John Longstaff is held by the successor to the Millions Club, the Sydney Club.”
Dowell O'Reilly wrote in 1913 that the country around Bankstown had been cut up into lots 'suitable for anything from poultry-farming to the residence of the Governor General'.
Arthur Rickard invites us to ride in his canoe. The 'Warrimoo Estate' was launched in 1918, the last year of World War I...
An excerpt from the first Warrimoo Estate subdivision along Rickard Road and Railway Parade. You will note that all the Lots are roughly the same size and dimensions throughout.
When you examine the layout of the plan for the 1920 ‘Rickard Road’ development, you will notice that initially, the Lots were arranged in a standard suburban pattern of roughly equal ‘quarter acre’ size. These mustn’t have moved quickly enough for Rickard’s liking, so that a new, 1922 version of the Warrimoo Estate had every 3rd, 4th or 5th block in a much larger battleaxe, running back into bush at the rear of the properties—this is to allow the pursuit of some form of animal husbandry or small scale agriculture to supplement the resident’s diet or income.
Plan of Warrimoo as it exists today--the extra large battle-axe blocks exist on both sides of the township
There is substantial evidence to indicate ‘Warrimoo’ held a special place in Arthur Rickard’s heart, despite the broadness of his holdings elsewhere. In Warrimoo he had arranged for the rebuilding of a rail platform and bridge. Already (in 1918) he had negotiated the renaming of ‘Karabar’ to ‘Warrimoo’, and moved the site of the platform 2-300 metres eastwards so that it stood opposite
The 'General Store' as it appears today. This building has been the centre of many dramas since its erection in 1920, and is surely worthy of consideration as the building most eminent for heritage-listing throughout the township. The famous bungalow at number 3 The Boulevarde. Offered at auction on the 'sale day' of the Warrimoo Estate, it stood as a beautiful testament to the stylish architecture of the period. Sketch courtesy of Warrimoo artist, Terry Dernee.
There appears to be little alternative other than to attribute a famous six foot ‘WARRIMOO’ sign, standing where the present Antiques shop is, to the promotional enthusiasm of Arthur Rickard himself. A legendary picture of four young women seated within the ‘W’, testifies to the sign being in place in 1930, welcoming motor tourists driving westward along the Highway. Another subsequent sign implored visitors to ‘Be kind to yourself and live in Warrimoo’…
The now legendary pic of four girls perched on the 'W' of the huge 'Warrimoo' sign once situated where the current 'Antiques' shop on the 'Highway now stands. Another contribution of one Arthur Rickard
Being a proud and very public patriot who had avidly supported Australian involvement in the war, Rickard was keen to make Warrimoo a showpiece of Australian gratitude to returned servicemen and war widows after the Great War. Rickard donated one block to the ‘Rejected Volunteers Association’ and sold five others to them at half price.
Formed in the latter years of the war, the Association’s President was Sir Edward John Cox, an executive of the NSW branch of the British Red Cross, and its aims were to construct homes for war widows and veterans using volunteer labour. It was thought that the widow’s pension could be supplemented by taking paying guests and the cottages were designed by Mr. Bates, honorary architect, with this in mind. They had seven rooms and two large sleeping-out verandahs and the land (c60 x 200ft) was planted with 40 fruit trees. War widows with children and no other means of support were invited to apply and the same conditions as those in the Voluntary Workers Homes were applied.
A rather poor newspaper photo of the hand-over of a 'Rejected Volunteers Home' at Warrimoo to war widow, Mrs. Simpson. Precisely where this building is or was is open to debate, but most likely on Florabella St., The Avenue, or The Boulevarde
The quality of these architect-designed weatherboard ‘homes’ is open to question. Certainly there was much fanfare with the opening of the first one, built on Rickard’s donated land:
Tennis was one such pursuit. In city suburbs wealthy families were able to afford the construction of a clay or lawn tennis court in their back yards—something denied working class people who generally lived in tenements or flats. Now, Rickard was offering a clay tennis court, just outside the southern side of Warrimoo Station and across the Highway to the General Store. Now, if the community was prepared to maintain and manage it, tennis would be available to anyone who lived in the estate. Brilliant!
Over time, the ‘Warrimoo Pool’ became one of the most popular swimming spots for visitors to the Lower Blue Mountains throughout the 1920’s and 30’s. It came to possess seating and change rooms, and a site for picnics, although maintenance of the pool was to become a serious bone of contention throughout its effective life. Its popularity declined after the Second World War when maintenance was neglected and Olympic pools were constructed at Springwood and then Glenbrook.
She was an extremely competent crochet worker and would even crochet her own dresses in her favourite lilac. Ann was a great talker and one could hear her talking as she came up the path to the house! In the 1950s there was a terrible bush fire which burnt the toilet and water tank stand, but the house was saved…
Ann was a tremendous walker, through the bush, down the roads etc. Once she even became lost in the thick bush. She had two cats at one stage – “Blackie”, who followed her around, would even make the long walk along
 ‘The Mysterious Name of Warrimoo’
 WAY, L. W., My Story, Cliff Lewis Printing, Caringbah, 2011, p.11
 Ibid, p.11
 Ibid, p.11
 Cf. Chapter in this blog entitled Arson at Warrimoo?
 Op Cit., My Story, pp 10-11
 Cf., Chapter in this blog entitled The Big House on The Boulevarde
 LUPTON, Maisie et al, Warrimoo Public School, The First Twenty-Five Years, magazine published by Warrimoo Public School Anniversary Committee, 1987, p.11
 Evans, Shirley & Smith, Pamela - REMEMBRANCE: Springwood District Honor Roll 1914-1919, p.14
 Ibid, p.14
 Op Cit., My Story, p.9
 Exactly who constructed the Warrimoo Pool is the subject of some contention, since Maisie Lupton had suggested her family had ‘built the pool’ in the 1930’s. Yet the chronological evidence and Rickard’s own advertising relating to a pool on the estate in the early 20’s is pretty incontestable… Feasibly, Maisie’s family had repaired the pool to make it operable again—something that was repeatedly required in sustaining a ‘natural’ swimming hole such as the one at Warrimoo.
 RICHARDSON, E. and MATTHEW, K, Warrimoo History Project, 2010—this whole section was researched and compiled by Evelyn Richardson and Kate Matthew. Their references will be duplicated below as footnotes to their work
 Ibid., biography of Ann Yousen
 Quoted from Leonie Campbell’s account as provided to RICHARDSON, E. and MATTHEW, K, Warrimoo History Project, 2010—this whole section was researched and written by Evelyn Richardson and Kate Matthew.
 Rickard’s Realty Review, Vol 1., No. 1., George Wilson Ed, Sydney Nov. 10,
Dorothy Wall was no shrinking violet. She was a proud and determined author, illustrator and mother. Her time spent at Warrimoo was a true distillation of her character.
Born, raised and educated in Wellington New Zealand, Dorothy Wall travelled to Sydney in 1914, the year the Great War began. She was twenty years of age and seeking adventure, as well as wider horizons for her creative talents. She was influenced by the success of May Gibbs, and began drawing bush characters in charming and unique ways. It was a period of growing Australian nationalism, and many parents wanted to cultivate ‘Australian’ values in their children.
|A young and beautiful Dorothy Wall as she arrived in Australia in 1914. Her youthful gaze holds a confident, optimistic hopefulness, and just a hint of ambition.|
In 1921, Dorothy married the swashbuckling war hero and pilot, Andrew Delfoss Badgery (‘Del’), a descendant of the same family after whom ‘Badgery’s Creek’ is named. The couple moved from flat to flat, living at twenty one addresses during the first two years of their marriage. Dorothy was a restless soul, and could find no satisfaction in her homes and neighbours, with whom she invariably clashed.
|Andrew Delfoss Badgery, 'Del', swashbuckling pilot of the First World War. Surely he was the perfect match for an adventurous young woman from New Zealand, eager to make her mark...|
|Blinky is baptised by the Reverend Fluffy Ears. In this illustration, Blinky's father looks on, but he is soon murdered by a bush shooter leaving Blinky to survive alone with his mum, just like Peter and his matriarch/author parent, Dorothy Wall.|
When it was published, in 1933, Dorothy had already moved to Blaxland and enrolled Peter at Blaxland Public School. Shortly afterwards she moved into a rented cottage at 3 Albert Street Warrimoo—a very basic weatherboard with an outside ‘loo, a wood stove, no window screens, no town water supply, no sewerage, no telephone and no mail delivery. The basic building still stands today but fibro extensions have been added.
|The site as it appears today...the old house was built with asbestos and was unsaveable.|
Peter and Dorothy took walks along a bush track that begins at the end of
|One of the seminal scenes from 'Blinky Bill Grows Up', where Blinky stumbles upon the 'Bush Bazaar'. Scenes like this were conjured by Dorothy's walks with Peter down the Florabella Track, at the end of the street of the same name.|
Being masterpieces of natural observation, the Blinky Bill books are a wonderfully entertaining education for young children in the mysteries of Australian flora and fauna:
‘Quite true’ came the reply. ‘I’m sorry I woke you, Mr. Koala, but I’m in such a hurry to finish my nest. My wife is growing quite impatient because she wants to lay her eggs and the nest is not quite ready. Do you mind if I gather a few more hairs from your ears? They are so silky and pretty, and besides, I think the colour will look very well with the grass I have gathered.’
‘Go ahead,’ Blinky answered. ‘Only don’t pull too many at once.’” ( from Blinky Bill Grows Up)
At first, Dorothy Wall was a frequent visitor to the village general store and post office, a two storey building on the Highway standing opposite the station, run by Mr. and Mrs. Duckle. Today, it is the ‘Monte Italia’ Pizzeria, hosted by the energetic and affable ‘Danny’, but in those days it was quite different, with a cluttered décor over-arched by dangling flypaper. Dorothy considered the Duckles to be busybodies, and resented using the public telephone inside the store for fear of being overheard. She thus launched a letter-writing campaign to the Postmaster General for a free standing outside ‘phone-box, which ultimately proved successful.
|Dorothy's stay at Warrimoo was feasibly the happiest time of her life, because Peter was under the tutorship of Blaxland PS teacher William Wurth, allowing her to pursue the many avenues of her talent without anxiety over her son's future.|
There has been much conjecture over the relationship between Dorothy Wall and William Wurth. Dorothy was fully divorced in December 1934, but she was struggling to survive on paltry royalties from her books and some small maintenance payments from ‘Del’—certainly she was reduced to begging Angus and Robertson for advance royalties on her work at this time.
|An example of the kind of graphic art Dorothy excelled in--she was frequently employed by newspapers and women's magazines on a casual basis to portray recent fashions or changes in style...|
Whatever her personal situation, it’s true that Dorothy Wall’s stay at Warrimoo was prolific and satisfying from a creative perspective. Apart from the completion of Blinky Bill Grows Up, she designed a stream of dustjacket covers for other Angus and Robertson books, illustrated two books by other authors, wrote and illustrated a further book titled Brownie, and completed yet another text for older children called The Muddles of World’s End, which never saw the light of day.
|One of the more famous dustjacket covers: Ion Idriess' 'The Desert Column', an account of Australian Light Horse heroics in World War I. Dorothy Wall had a brilliant eye for dramatic design.|
All the while she struggled to keep her own and Peter’s heads above water. She strove to have Blinky Bill animated like Mickey Mouse, or syndicated as a cartoon strip character, or promoted on china ware, or in any form possible, but failed on most counts. In 1937 she came back to the Mountains, this time taking up residence on the Hawkesbury Road at Springwood, where she wrote the third book of her series: Blinky Bill and Nutsy.
Dorothy Wall moved back to Sydney and thence to Auckland, New Zealand, where she worked as an artist for the New Zealand Herald until mid 1941, when the lure of wild bush spaces and character-filled native animals lured her back to Australia. When she returned to Sydney to live at Neutral Bay with her sister Marjorie, she was just up the road from May Gibbs’ ‘Nutcote’. The contrast between the two women authors could not be more complete, nor galling: May Gibbs was well off and a celebrity in her own lifetime, living in an architect-designed cottage overlooking Sydney Harbour and receiving the MBE for her services to children’s literature, while Dorothy continued to battle to make ends meet.*
|More earnest, matronly and demure now, Dorothy Wall is photographed in Sydney just prior to her premature death in January, 1942.|
 Information for this summary biography came exclusively from: Dorothy Wall, the creator of Blinky Bill, Her Life and Work, A Biography by the inimitable Walter McVitty, to whom Warrimoo Historians are most grateful, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1988.
* Ironically there are also unconfirmed reports that May Gibbs, author and illustrator of the famous 'Gumnut Twins', once stayed at Warrimoo, visiting a relative in Rickard Road.
|The Gospel Hall became a hub of community activity during the 'Ardill Years'. Apart from Sunday Services, there were film nights, invitation teas and of course, meetings of the revived 'Warrimoo Progress Association'.|
* Terry Dernee acted as a great source of information and inspiration for this post
|Jack Mudie, one time resident of Warrimoo, had a significant part to play in the inauguration of this memorial 'Peace Park' and statues at Naoetsu (Joetsu) in Japan.|
By mid January 1942 it was clear that the Japanese attack would be land based and several encounters with the enemy had already taken place, most resulting in outflanking, defeat, and retreat of the British-led defenders. By late January the strength of the Japanese forces was such that the Australian troops were being withdrawn to the southern end of
|Australian troops arrive in Southern Malaya after efforts to stop the Japanese drive southwards. Other than the Papua/New Guinea campaign, the Malayan campaign saw the greatest loss of life by Australian troops in World War II.|
Following the complete withdrawal of Allied forces onto Singapore Island, the 2/20th Battalion was positioned defensively in an area adjacent to Johore Strait where the battalion, facing extensive mangrove swamp, took the brunt of the major Japanese assault on the night of February 8, 1942 with more than four hundred casualties. Jack Mudie is recorded in Volume IV of Australia’s official Second World War history (Army) as being one of the 2/20th Battalion’s company commanders at the time of the Japanese landings on that day.
|Defenders' view from Singapore Island near the Causeway to the Malayan mainland. The tall building in the distance became General Yamashita's Command Post.|
|Stunning pic of Japanese soldiers crossing Johore Strait on outboard-driven boats.|
Japanese naval presence, air superiority and land-based success on the island was unstoppable. The surrender of the British forces on
As a member of “C Force,” Jack Mudie was among 563 Australian POWs who were sent from
|The work at Naoetsu consisted of endless, backbreaking, loading and unloading of cargo. The guards gained a reputation of cruelty to the point where Naoetsu became the worst of the POW camps in terms of the ratio of prisoner deaths.|
|Photo of prison guards plus inmates from Naoetsu. Some of the guards have been marked for identification in their respective trials. Eight of the guards were executed. Jack Mudie's Diary was a key part of the prosecution of these offenders.|
When the war ended and Jack returned to Warrimoo to his sister Maisie Lupton’s care, he was a shadow of his former vigorous self…
In 1978 a letter from an Australian ex-prisoner of war of the Japanese established a correspondence with some students learning English in Naoetsu, Japan. In 1988, at the former site of the Naoetsu prison camp a memorial service was held for the sixty Australian POWs who had died there during the Second World War. Those attending the ceremony were told about the Japanese POWs who were killed in the breakout at Cowra in central New South Wales in 1944 and about their reverent burial in the Cowra war cemetery. Six years later a group of local Japanese people who had heard this story formed a committee which aimed to erect peace statues at Naoetsu. In spite of many obstacles they succeeded in erecting the statues and two cenotaphs at the former camp site that had been transformed into a garden called “The Peace Memorial Park.”
Mr Mudie gave an inspiring speech on behalf of the surviving Australian POWs, which included the following excerpts:
|Jack Mudie addresses the gathering at the opening of the Naoetsu Peace Park in 1995. He was later awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his courage and devotion towards building understanding between Australia and Japan.*|
* Warrimoo Historians would like to proffer an apology for the poor quality of the picture of Jack Mudie. We would desperately have loved to have had a clearer portrait photo of Jack, but could not glean any. If any blog reader could help out, please let us know in the 'Comments' section.