In December 1915, a local community development group, the Mount Hawthorn Progress Association, decided to build a unique war memorial in their suburb. This memorial was to pay homage to their countrymen who had participated in the battle at Anzac Cove.
At a request from a resident in the suburb, the war memorial took the form of a home for a local wounded soldier who had recently returned from the Dardanelles and his family.
The project gained momentum in the community with donations of materials, furniture, skills and labour pouring in, with the result of an architecturally designed brick and tile Cottage to be erected in Kalgoorlie St, Mount Hawthorn.
After a number of busy bees organised by the Progress Association and an extraordinary parade through the streets of Perth of some 70 days bearing the building materials for the Cottage, the day of construction arrived on 12 February 1916.
On this day, which began at 4:30am to the call of a town crier, 200 tradesmen gathered at the Cottage and, cheered on by up to 4,000 onlookers, set about constructing this lovely little brick and tile cottage.
By the end of that day, the outside of Anzac Cottage was complete and had been branded: the house that was built in one day. Further internal work was completed and in April 1916 the Cottage was handed over to the wounded soldier: Private John Porter.
The historic Anzac Cottage still stands today proudly in Kalgoorlie St, Mount Hawthorn and is open to the public on the first Sunday of every month, as well as on special occasions, such as the celebration of the Cottage's construction. And, given the Cottage's beginnings, military commemorations also merit special remembrances, with a Sunset Service on Anzac Day and special service for Remembrance Day. The Vietnam Veterans of Australia (WA Branch) who once owned the Cottage and saved it from destruction in the 1970s are also honoured on Vietnam Veterans Day.
Anzac Cottage still stands proudly today 99 years after its construction (Image: Personal collection)