By Cathy Jones (2022)
Churchill Avenue Strathfield is located between The Boulevarde and Homebush Road. Part of this street is located in the Strathfield Town Centre. The construction of Raw Square, in the late 1960s, had the effect of bisecting the residential area of Churchill Avenue from Strathfield CBD.
Churchill Avenue was originally known as ‘The Avenue’. The name was changed due to duplication with a street with the same name in Homebush. The name Churchill was adopted after World War II and named after British Wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
Churchill Avenue, between Elva Street and Homebush Road contains primarily Federation styled buildings. The relatively late development of this estate occurred, because the much of the land was considered unusable due to the presence of a large watercourse, created by overflow water from Powells Creek (which runs at nearby Elva Street and finishes at Strathfield Square).
Most of the houses in Churchill Avenue were built in the early 1900s. The area between Elva Street and Homebush Road was listed as a heritage conservation area in 1987 in Strathfield Council’s Local Environmental Plan.
‘Curraweena’ 84 Churchill Ave Strathfield is built on a 1903 subdivision that was marketed as the ‘Kings Estate’. The estate was subdivided by Robert Joshua King (d.1934) and Mary Ann Balmain (d.1943), the wife of surveyor and Town Clerk of Strathfield Council, John Hope Balmain. The Kings Estate created the western end of Churchill Avenue (then called The Avenue), Redmyre Road (part) and Homebush Road (part).
John Lyon Gardner, a prominent Strathfield builder who constructed houses in Redmyre Road, Albert Road, Churchill Avenue and Vernon Street, purchased this land in 1908, which was later sold it to Arthur Llewellyn Myles. It is likely that Gardiner built this house, which was built by 1910 and named ‘Curraweena’.
Arthur Llewellyn Myles (d.1933) was born in Burwood and was the son of late Mr. Charles Henry Myles, who was a director of the A.B.C. Bank, the Australian Gas Light Co., and the Newcastle-Wallsend Coal Co. Myles was for about 20 years managing director of the Mote Patent Extension Ladder Co., Ltd. For many years Mr. Myles was a member of the Burwood Congregational Church choir.
Myles remained at ‘Curraweena’ until 1922 when he sold the property to Clarice Lorraine Henry, the wife of Harry Andre Henry (1892-1961), a barrister at law. Harry Andre Henry was the son of the influential artist, teacher and sculptor Lucien Henry (1850-1896). Henry was a founder of the Art Society of New South Wales. Click here for a gallery of Henry’s works at the Museum of Applied Sciences.
Harry Andre Henry as a child lived with his father in France, when his father died in 1896. His mother had died in childbirth. He returned to Sydney with his nurse and attended school at Sydney Grammar and then Sydney University. In 1913, at age 21 he obtained a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. With the outbreak of war, in September 1914, he enlisted at Oxford and was gazetted a Lieutenant on 24th November. He served with a regiment in France and Salonika from 1915 to 1917. He was promoted Captain in 12 July 1915. He transferred to the R.F.C. 12th July 1917 and served with the R.A.F. in Egypt and Mesopotamia during 1917-18, and with Dunsterforce in Persia during part of 1918. He retuned to Australia in 1920.
Henry and his family lived at ‘Curraweena’ selling it to 1950 to Arthur Grigg, a grazier and his wife Dorothy Grigg. After the death of Arthur Grigg, it was sold in 1966 to Judith O’Grady, a pharmacist.
Mr A L Myles. (1933, June 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved August 9, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16969422
McMartin, A., ‘Henry, Lucien Felix (1850–1896)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/henry-lucien-felix-3755/text5913, published first in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 2 January 2020.
Social Chat of the Day (1915, July 10). The Newsletter: an Australian Paper for Australian People (Sydney, NSW : 1900 – 1919), p. 7. Retrieved August 19, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112708012
NEW RHODES SCHOLAR. (1913, December 10). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 – 1930), p. 8. Retrieved August 14, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article238968081
Henry Andre Henry, https://nswbar.asn.au/uploads/pdf-documents/Henry_Harry_Andre_.pdf
Strathfield Council Building Registers
Land Title searches, NSW Land and Property Information
Sands Sydney and Suburbs Directory 1881-1933