Monday, April 6, 2015

Anti-German sentiment led to street name change during war

From the Maitland Mercury report:
As Australian soldiers prepared to leave Gallipoli and devastation of the conflict travelled home, the name of one of Maitland’s most prominent streets came under fire.
On December 14, 1915, the people of Beckmann Street presented a petition to West Maitland Municipal Council for the street to be renamed.

Historical documents show that the German-derived name of Beckmann was seen as an affront to the war effort and therefore the street should be renamed Anzac Street.
“Originally, the street was named after a local merchant called G H V Beckmann and as this was a German name the people of the street petitioned to have it changed and the name Anzac was certainly in vogue,” Maitland Historical Society member Kevin Short said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, April 5, 2015.