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Street signs honour world war servicemen

Monday 9 August 2021

The installation of new street signs in Glenelg North are part of a council-funded project to honour WWI and WWII highly-decorated serviceman from South Australia.

The suburb already had a rich history of remembrance and became a memorial site after the end of WWII.

On the western side of the Sturt River, 14 streets were named after South Australian servicemen, including Kibby Avenue – named after William Kibby – who lived in Glenelg.

To acknowledge this, the City of Holdfast Bay established the Streets of Honour project, which aims to highlight and share this history with our community.

The street signposts have been added to with a red-coloured blade, which has the servicemen’s full name and service honours or awards.

Approximately 2000 men and women from Holdfast Bay served in both world wars, with hundreds wounded or killed in action.

Following WWII, the War Service Homes Commission purchased land in Glenelg North.

Here they constructed more than 270 brick homes and offered loans to returned soldiers. Many of these red-brick homes can still be seen in the area today.

The scheme not only generated employment but also allowed many returning soldiers and their families to re-establish themselves and return to a sense of normality.

Read more about the Streets of Honour project at Graymore Park in Derrick Place and the history of the soldiers the streets were named after.

Kibby Avenue
William Henry Kibby VC (1903-1042)

Kibby Avenue in Glenelg North commemorates the service of William Henry Kibby who lived in Helmsdale in Glenelg East with his family. Born in the UK in 1903, Kibby’s family migrated to South Australia in 1914, setting up home in Glenelg.

At the outbreak of WWII, Kibby enlisted on 29 June 1940 and served in the Middle East and Northern Africa. He died on 31 October 1942 from machine gun fire, aged 39.

Taking over after his platoon commander was killed, he was ordered to attack strong enemy positions. Kibby personally assaulted an enemy post, firing his Thompson sub-machine gun, killing three of the enemy and capturing 12 others.

On other occasions he showed great leadership, directing fie and encouraging his men. His work was said to have been "an inspiration to all".

Kibby was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery and leadership. The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious award of the British and Australian honours system and is awarded for valour and courage "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces.

The medal has been awarded to just 100 Australians since its inception in 1856 by Queen Victoria. Of these, 20 received the Victoria Cross during WWII.

After Kibby’s death, a trust ‘The Sgt W Kibby VC Deceased Memorial Fund’ was formed in Glenelg to raise money to provide a home for his widow and daughters Clarisse and Jacqueline.

‘All I want out of life is to be back at Glenelg, with my wife and daughters and my garden’ - William Kibby circa 1940

Other streets in Glenelg North

  • Derrick Avenue
    Lieutenant Thomas Currie Derrick VC, DCM (1914-1945)
  • Davey Avenue
    Philip Davey VC, MM (1896-1953)
  • Leak Avenue
    John Leak VC (1892-1972)
  • Inwood Avenue
    Reginald Roy Inwood VC (1890-1971)
  • Blackburn Avenue
    Arthur Seaforth Blackburn VC, CMG, CBE, E.D (1892-1960)
  • Gosse Ave
    George Gosse GC (1912-1964)
  • Leane Avenue
    Sir Raymond Lionel Leane, CB, CMG, DSO & Bar, MC, VD (1878 –1962)
  • Moten Avenue
    Murray John Moten CBE, DSO & Bar, ED (1899 – 1953)
  • McCann Avenue
    William Francis James McCann CMG, DSO, OBE, MC & Bar (1892-1957)
  • Mattner Avenue
    Edward William Mattner MC, DCM, MM (1893-1977)
  • Shannon Avenue
    David John Shannon, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar (1922 –1993)
  • Bonython Avenue
    Hugh Reskymer "Kym" Bonython AC, DFC, AFC (1920 –2011)
  • Goldworthy Crescent
    Lieutenant Leon Verdi Goldworthy GC, DSC, GM (1909-1994)

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