Street Talk – Birdwood Street, Mowbray

May 20, 2020 | MowbrayStreet & Suburb HistoryStreet Talk

Birdwood Street is named after Sir William Birdwood  (1865-1951) who was in command of the ANZAC forces from 1914 almost until the end of the war.

Birdwood was born in Bombay and had a highly distinguished military career in Britain, India and Australia. He served in the Boer War as Military Secretary to Lord Kichener, was severely wounded and was mentioned in despatches five times.

During the Great War, Birdwood commanded the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (the ANZACs), had some queries raised about his abilities and was blamed for ANZAC defeats in 1916-17. Known to the troops as Birdy, there have also been accusations that his affection for the ANZAC troops was a put on, and that he feared their democratic nature, however he received fifteen British and Foreign honours, was created a Baronet and granted £10,000 by Parliament.

After the war, Birdwood was Commander-in-Chief in India, 1925-30, and then Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge until his death.



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