The National Trust has now lodged a formal objection to the demolition of a 100-year old Red Cross Rest Home built for injured returned soldiers. Our objection can be downloaded here. In this Anzac Centenary year, and in the Rest Home’s centenary year, we call on the community to oppose the demolition of this “living” war memorial. Should you wish to oppose the demolition of the Red Cross Rest Home, you can do so by contacting the Planning Department at the City of Glen Eira, quoting Permit No. GE/PP-28748/2015. We have been advised that Council is due to make a determination on this matter by 17 May.
The Rest Home was built with funds and donated materials secured by the Red Cross from the local community, with a media report at the time noting that “nearly every family has donated a brick or two.” At the opening of the building, Lady Helen Ferguson, founder of the Australian Branch of the British Red Cross Society, noted that “among the many buildings given to the comfort of solders”, this was “the finest”.
By 1916, there were 27 military hospitals and rest homes in the care of the Red Cross. Many were established in existing buildings, and many have since been demolished. Our research indicates that the Caulfield Red Cross Rest Home may be the only remaining purpose-built Rest Home in Victoria.
Since the lodgement of the current planning permit, the Red Cross Rest Home has been added to the War Heritage Inventory maintained by the Department of Premier & Cabinet (Hermes No. 199158).
The Trust believes that this living monument to the community’s experience of World War I and later conflicts should be preserved for generations to come, with our campaign recently featured in The Age. We do not believe that HammondCare has adequately demonstrated that the building can’t be incorporated in the new development, and we call on them to work with Council to achieve an outcome which balances the needs of aged care with the preservation of our shared history.