Millbrook Public School was a small school in the Adelaide Hills. It opened in 1879 and served the nearby small townships of Millbrook, Chain of Ponds, Cudlee Creek and Prairie.
The original Honour Roll was unveiled on 24th November 1917 and was fixed to the wall above the fireplace in the main classroom where all students could see it. It remained there until 16th February 1983 when the old school building and the Honour Roll were destroyed in the Ash Wednesday Bushfires.
Mrs. Phillip Cox, (given names Annie Charlotte,) was the mother of George and Roy Palmer. Both boys attended Millbrook School. The Palmer family had been living at Brighton but moved to live with Annie’s father in the Millbrook township after their father died in 1897.
Annie married again to Phillip Cox and lived in the nearby township of Kersbook.
When war was declared both George and Roy were early volunteers and enlisted as privates in the 10th Battalion. Neither knew the other had enlisted until they met up in camp.
Unfortunately, both George and Roy lost their lives in the very early days of the Gallipoli landing. George was killed in action on 27th April 1915 and has no known grave. His name is listed on the Lone Pine Memorial. Roy died of wounds in Egypt on 2nd May 1915 and is buried in the Alexandria Chatby Military and War Memorial Cemetery.
Relatives of Annie Charlotte visited Millbrook in the early 2000’s researching family history and prompted my interest in replacing the Roll of Honour as part of the school’s 125th celebrations in 2004.
The brass plaque is an exact replica of the original and was first fixed to a commemorative stone wall in the school grounds as the original school building was never restored. It was fitting that a descendant of Annie unveiled the new plaque. When the school closed in 2010 because of low enrolments the plaque was moved to a new stone wall near the Cudlee Creek Soldiers Memorial Hall.
Information provided by Geoffrey Burton.
Principal of Millbrook Primary School 1988 – 2005.