Nott Street School Old Boys Evening Talk: An Unfinished Tribute

NottStNotesCome to an evening talk from Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society to hear the story of a secret compartment in the Nott Street School WWI honour board and the handwritten messages from families hidden there. This event presents the opportunity to browse these 97-year-old messages, now beautifully preserved in specially handcrafted boxes for public viewing.

Emerald Hill Heritage Centre

Tues 26 April 2016, 6.15 pm

Bookings Essential: For more information see National Trust Heritage Festival Website.


  1. Ronald Agar says

    I attended Nott Street State School between 1942 and 1948 with not too far to walk to and from as we lived in Nott Street behind the Tow Hall.
    I remember Miss Burke as a Teacher in the Sixth Grade (?) also Mr Storey the Principal at that time.
    Also Air Raid Shelters in the School Yard.
    Played in the Drum Band for the Combined Local Schools’ Sports.
    Left there after Grade Six and went to the South Melbourne Technical School.

    • David Thompson says

      Thanks Ronald.

      Do you ever remember seeing the Honour Book from WWI? Was it displayed one special days like ANZAC day perhaps?

      • I was at Nott Street and South Tech with Ron, or Aggs as was his nickname. I do not recall any reference whatsoever to the World War 1 Honour Board ever being made during my time there, and was only vaguely aware of its existence. Mr Storey was, we were told, a Gallipoli veteran. He lost an eye in the war, and had a glass eye in its place. I remember him as a gentle man. I liked him very much. Much friendlier than Miss Shultz, the Infant Mistress of what we called the “Little School”. Although no mention was ever made of the Honour Board, nevertheless in Mr Storey’s time Anzac Day commemoration was a major event. The whole school would be assembled in the Infant School Hall for a lecture about the battle from Mr Storey. On a stand, he had a large map of the Gallipoli Peninsula, and, with a long pointer, he indicated the importance of access to the narrow body of water in the Strait was to Turkey, and why the battle was fought to attempt to prevent that access. He gave us a vivid description of the events as experienced by the Anzacs, right up to the time of their evacuation. The memory of his story has stayed with me ever since, re-inforced as it was in each of the years he was our Head Master. My particular memory of the open air raid shelters, which were no more than slit trenches, was of a boy attempting to catch a ball hit from the incinerator near the boys’ toilet, our cricket wicket, and in doing so he fell into one of the trenches, breaking his arm in doing so. I have many other memories. Will seek to add more of them later.

        • David Thompson says

          Thanks Reg,
          It is interesting to know that the annual Anzac Day Commemoration was was a major event on the school calendar but the Honour Roll/Board did not play a major part. Perhaps over time the existence of the books hidden in the Honour Board was forgotten.
          For your information we have over 380 Nott Street School Old Boys who enlisted for WWI. We have linked about two thirds of them to their war record so we know who they were and we are working on the remainder.
          We don’t have Mr Storey on our list, probably because he would have joined the school after the Honour Roll was compiled.

          • Ronald Agar says

            Thanks Reg & David for the interesting information about the Honour Board that I have copied and shared with my Adult Children.
            I remember Mr Storey well – with his Glass Eye –

  2. Vicki Peterson says

    Apologies if this is not the appropriate place to post. Just wondering if you have a record of Stanley F J Peterson on the school honour board? If so I have postcards sent back from him mentioning certain teachers. Prior to WW1 what grade did the school go to, and was there a secondary school as well in Port Melbourne? Stan and his family were there in Port until around 1930s, he was our great-uncle and sadly died in 1918 on the western front near Albert France.

    • David Thompson says

      Hi Vicki,
      The Nott Street Honour Board does not list any names but the notes and several versions of the roll hidden within the board list over 380 old boys and teachers from Nott Street who enlisted. Stanley Peterson is included and his name was published in the Port Melbourne Standard newspaper when many of the Nott Street boys were listed in 1917 ( If you haven’t seen our WWI project, here is Stanley’s page We will be happy to add any additional information or photos that you would like to add to his details.

      I believe the school when to grade 8 at the time of WWI and there was not a secondary school in Port. After 1918 many boys went to South Melbourne Technical School.

      I will contact you with via email. Thanks, David.

  3. David Thompson…My recall is that our Mr Storey was not a Nott Street School Old Boy. If he had been, he most certainly would have mentioned it. He, more than anyone else in my lifetime, aroused my interest in History. I hung on every word of his talks on Gallipoli. Somehow I recall mention of him being a ‘country boy’.

  4. Hi there all you past schoolies. My name is Robert. I am hoping someone can send me email pictures my dad Ron mc redmond attended he was in grade 2 in 1948.if anyone has other years of please send would be doing this for a surprise him. He is 78. 5.thankyou all.

    • David Thompson says

      If anyone has a copy of the class photos Robert is looking for, please let the Society know and we’ll work out how to get copies.

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