St George Cathedral Burt Memorial Hall History


Author: Brian Rowe

Posted on

The Burt family of Perth (Septimus and Louisa) had two sons killed during the course of the First World War.  When Lieutenant Theodore Burt (serving with the Royal Field Artillery, 12th Battery 35th Brigade was killed at Montauban, France in 1916 his father commissioned the Burt Memorial Hall as a memorial to his son. The Foundation stone on the south west corner of the building was laid by Lord Forrest on 26 October 1917.   In April 1918, Lieutenant Francis Burt (serving with the Australian Machine Gun Corps, 4th Battalion was killed at Villers-Bretonneux. A memorial tablet of Donnybrook stone and Australian marble is mounted on the wall of the staircase well near the main entrance in his memory.

The Burt Memorial Hall was designed by Mr Herbert Parry, son of the second Bishop of Perth.

Contained within the fabric on the south side of the building facing St Georges Terrace are the Arms of the Diocese of Perth and the Burt family crest as well as two military figures.

In 1922 a stained glass window depicting the Four Virtues was incorporated into the building in memory of Septimus by his wife, Louisa. It consists of four large panels with figures representing the virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude. Beneath these panels are the Coats of Arms of the United Kingdom and Australia together with the Diocesan Arms of Canterbury and Perth.

 The lower dining room was used as a soup kitchen during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In World War II, it was used to house Dutch refugees fleeing from Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) and to provide meals to returned servicemen.

Last updated: