Can you be a History Detective?

We often get requests for help to solve historical mysteries in the district. Some of these can be answered using the Society’s resources, but there are other more challenging queries for which an answer cannot be readily found. If a reader can throw any light on any of the following queries, or can suggest where an answer might be found, a response would be appreciated on the Contact us page.

Jack Henry Marr

Information is sought about Jack Henry Marr, who was the only child of Henry William Julian Marr and Constance Marr (nee de la Motte), being born in Rockdale on Oct 22nd 1914.

Jack worked at the Burgess Garage in Guyra as a salesman/radio announcer before enlisting in the RAAF in World War 2. It has been suggested that there was a Marr’s Garage on Princes Highway, Rockdale, on a corner opposite the Ambulance Station, with which there may be a connection.

McLauchlan and Brighton Hotel

Information is sought about Alexander Tod McLaughlan who was the licensee of the Brighton Hotel (formerly Saywell’s, now the Novotel) with Tooth and Co from 1932 until he died in 1951. His son John McLauchlan appears to have been involved in running the hotel during this time.
A family member has a presentation certificate and book from the Rockdale sub-branch of the R.S.S. & A.I.L.A, The certificate states “Certificate of Appreciation presented to Mr A.J.McLauchlan by the members as a mark of esteem and goodwill – 1943”, while the book is stamped “To Alex McLauchlan as a mark of esteem and appreciation from the members of Rockdale Sub Branch etc 1944”.

Does anyone have some photos of the hotel in the years 1932 to 1951?
Would anyone know why the R.S.S. & A.I.L.A. Rockdale held McLauchlan in such high esteem?

Red Cross Appeal Stamp

Information is sought about a Red Cross poster stamp with the text “Lady Gowrie Red Cross Appeal – To Aid the Sick and Wounded” and costing one penny. These stamps were issued in 1940 by the thousands, however some had an overprint after its release “Bexley Prisoner of War Fund 6d”.

So far it has been found that, after the fall of Singapore in 1942, the Australian Red Cross began to concentrate of providing parcels for POWs and local societies were urged to undertake fundraising efforts to support this cause. In August 1942, following discussion between the Bexley War Fund and Red Cross, Bexley collectors agreed to accept contributions to the Red Cross POW appeal with the contributions being acknowledged “by the issue of proper stamps”. In June 1945 the Area Collector of the Patriotic Fund was informed that the Red Cross had discontinued the collection of funds for POWs.

How many of these stamps were printed, what advertising occurred for their sale, etc?
Does anyone know anything about the Bexley War Fund?
Was there a Bexley Red Cross Branch as well?
Is this the “proper stamp” issued?