Sons of Williamstown

Published: January 18, 2019

During World War 1, on behalf of the community, William Henderson, Williamstown Councillor from 1916-1928 and Mayor from 1919-1920, collected photographic portraits that would become the Great War Honour Board which hangs in the foyer of the Williamstown Town Hall. The board commemorates 265 men from Williamstown, Newport and Spotswood who made the supreme sacrifice and did not return home to their families.

By 1924 he had collected a total of 265 portraits. To display them, the council contracted the well-known Melbourne firm, H Goldman Manufacturing Co. to build a blackwood cabinet with doors designed to protect the photos against light damage. William Henderson’s devotion to his task became known as his ‘Labour of Love’.

Hobsons Bay City Council’s Sons of Williamstown, A Labour of Love project, supported by the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program set out to conserve, research and document the Board and share the stories behind the faces.

To read more about the Honour Board and each of the men it commemorates please visit

(Thankyou to Loraine Callow for assistance with this item)