On 16 August 1918, just three months before the Armistice of 11 November, John Campbell Dale Warren was killed instantly when a German shell penetrated the Battalion Orderly Room in the basement of a house at Guillaucourt, where he was sheltering. Red Cross files, available on the Australian War Memorial website and linked to this brief account, provide a long eyewitness report of the incident in which Campbell perished.
Campbell’s parents decided to build a memorial to their son, a church dedicated to his memory and to the memories of those others from the region who died in the war. The church was named after St Peter’s College in Adelaide, where Campbell had attended school.
The Warrens had come to the Katanning–Badgebup district as farmers in 1898 from South Australia, establishing a property called ‘Dyliabing’. At that time Badgebup had no church.
In 1919, a local shopkeeper, RL Richardson, supported the Warren family, agreeing that the provision of a church at Badgebup would be the most fitting tribute to those who had been killed. Richardson donated a substantial block of land and on 21 May of that year work commenced preparing the site and landscaping the block with ornamental trees.
On 25 October 1919, Perth architect Herbert Eales visited Badgebup to conduct a site inspection. While there he took part in a fundraising social at which he played the piano. Eales was a partner in the firm Eales and Cohen. Cohen was a war veteran. Both men seem to have developed a powerful affection for this building project, providing church furnishings at their own expense, including the stained glass. Later, Eales wrote, ‘We have taken a great interest in the little church and have never looked upon it as a business proposition’.
Stone for the building was quarried near the Warren’s property by for the stonemason George Thorpe, who had lost two sons in the war. The carpenters Tom and Cyril Berry were both ex-servicemen.
The Warrens brought the simple wooden cross that had marked their son’s first grave in France to be the altar cross. It now hangs in St Peter’s vestry.
Exhibition materials were kindly provided by Katanning Historical Museum http://lostkatanning.com/st-peters-anglican-church-badgebup/
Service file of John Campbell Dale Warren http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8361212
Red Cross File of JCD Warren
Interim Heritage Listing (1996) https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/Court/1996/01/Interim-heritage-listing-for-St-Peter's-Church,-Badgebup.aspx
Thanks to Ainslie Evans from the Museum at Katanning for her assistance with this site.
St Peter’s Church, Badgebup
Badgebup WA 6317