Symon (Family), 1914, Photograph, PRG 249/14
A collection of 477 war buttons and regimental badges collected and arranged by members of the Symon family, framed behind glass and with a metal plate on the bottom of the frame inscribed: "Presented by Lieutenant Commander Oliver Symon in memory of Sir Josiah Symon, KCMG, KC" [his father]. The buttons and Armed Forces badges were issued to raise funds from non-government sources, such as badge days for the Cheer Up Society, Australian Comforts Fund and Australia Day, during World War I. The framed collection was hung in the Upper Sturt Hall near the Symon residence "Manoah" and later came to the Mount Lofty Historical Society, which presented it to the Mortlock Library of South Australiana in 1993. The Advertiser reported, 17 December 1936 page 30: 'A fete to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of the Upper Sturt Soldiers' Memorial Hall, was held at Upper Sturt on Saturday. The financial return was satisfactory. The opening ceremony was performed by Lieutenant-Commander Oliver Symon, who also presented to the hall a fine souvenir panel of war buttons and regimental badges. The afternoon was spent in sports and games for the children, afternoon tea being served. Among those present were Lady Symon, Miss K. Symon and Miss Lewers. Mr C. Wylie, chairman of the hall committee, presided. A dance followed in the evening, when the hall was filled, to capacity.' A researcher has provided additional information about the Symon badge board: 'The Upper Sturt Soldiers Memorial Hall Committee minutes of 24 November 1936 recorded the offer of the significant gift under the heading 'Memorial Tablet': 'The Chairman read a letter from Mr O. Symon offering to present to the Hall a framed collection of buttons & badges struck during the Great War. The Tablet was inspected. 'Proposed A. Petersen, Sec., H. Slater that the panel be accepted and that high appreciation of the valuable gift be recorded. Carried with Acclamation.' The original badge board hung in the Upper Sturt Soldiers Memorial Hall from 1936 until the mid-1980s when vandals broke the glass covering the board and stole a number of badges. The board was then loaned to the Mount Lofty Districts Historical Society for safe-keeping. In 1993 they passed it on to the Mortlock Library of South Australiana where it now resides and is being preserved and conserved as part of the heritage of South Australia. A full-scale photograph of the original badge board, clearly showing the gaps where badges were stolen, was hung back in place in June 2013 by the present Upper Sturt Soldiers Memorial Hall committee, with much pride, to showcase this significant piece of Upper Sturt heritage.