MEMORIES of war run deep at the end of Daly Street in South Fremantle.
On November 19, 1941, the Courtis family, who lived on nearby Thomas Street, lost their only son Roy, 21, a stoker on HMAS Sydney.
Roy’s mother Irene, who’d lost her husband—former 28th Battalion horse trainer and Gallipoli veteran William—in 1933, died five years later.
At the time, the property was part of the Daly Street stables, which had passed to the Collinson family after Roy’s death and sold to the Patterson family in the late 1950s.
Jack Collinson was regarded as one of the best horse trainers in town. On the other side of Douro Road, James D Cockell, the father of country racing, raised a storm at his Daly Street stables, de-licensed in the 1970s to become a residence.
Today, South Fremantle’s last working stables wake up every morning at the other end of Daly Street where owner Terry Patterson has fought many battles over local heritage and conservation.
The death of Mr Patterson’s father Len “Banjo” Petterson in 2000, aged 77, helped change laws in WA on compensation for asbestos victims’ families.
His mother Annie, who’d served in the air force during WWII, died in 1998. During WWII, “Banjo” had served on Aquitania, the troop ship which rescued German survivors from HSK Kormoran, which sank HMAS Sydney in 1941 with the loss of all 645 crew, including Roy Courtis.
Young stoker Roy’s father William, who’d seen active service in Gallipoli and France with the 28th and 51st battalions, trained his horses in “Cockell’s paddock”—now Hollis Park.
Mr Patterson’s grandfather John was a 10th Lighthorseman who rebuilt many stables in South Fremantle.
According to local heritage records, Daly Street was named Gallipoli Street, Hewitt Street, then Frederick Street. In 1951, it was renamed Daly Street in honour of Fremantle councillor Bartholomew Daly, who served on council 1909 to 1912, 1913 to 1922 and 1924 to 1929.
A local contractor, Daly and Sons kept a fleet of draught horses at 17 Douro Road near his Hulbert Street house, which has been fully restored and used as a bed and breakfast.
Douro Road is named after the Duke of Wellington, who was also the Marquis of Douro, after the battle of the passage of the Douro River in the Peninsular War of 1807 to 1814.
On Anzac Day, Mr Patterson will pause to remember the sacrifices of the people—and horses—who lived and died at Daly Street. He will be joined by thousands whose loved ones came from almost every street in Fremantle.
by CARMELO AMALFI