Oliver Frank ("Olly") and Sydney George ("Syd") McCarthy were a pair of brothers who were born and grew up in Annandale, living at 152 Annandale Street. They attended Annandale Public School and had been members of Village Church (then called St Aidan's Annandale) since they were in Sunday School. The Reverend Rook, the minister at the time, described Syd as “one of our SS boys, became a teacher and a most reliable church worker.”
Prior to the War, they had both served with the Commonwealth Citizen Forces and it wasn't long before they joined the ANZACs.
Olly was working as a mail assistant at the Balmain Post Office. He was just 18 when he enlisted in October 1914. He was one of the soldiers fighting in the first ANZAC Day at Gallipoli. He was injured at Gallipoli and discharged, but he soon re-enlisted and returned to fight on the Western Front. Olly was killed at Bullecourt on May 4 1917. He was 20 years old.
Syd, the elder brother, worked as an assistant with the Department of Trade and Customs. He enlisted shortly after his brother in March 1915, aged 19, and served in the 10th Australian Depot Unit of Supply. Syd was injured by an exploding bomb in Dunkirk, France. He later died of these wounds on December 20 1917 - just seven months after his younger brother. Syd was 22 when he died.
The McCarthy brothers' names are next to each other on the church Roll of Honour, with the cross next to each name marking their deaths in the War.
The father of these two men was George Frederick McCarthy who lived at 152 Annandale Street, Annandale.
The memorial was unveiled by the Dean of Sydney, before a full church.
Olly and Syd were two of the approximately 1200 Annandale men who served in World War I.
Information taken from
The AIF Project (https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=193926)
Annals from Aidan’s in Annandale (http://christiansinthemedia.org/media/pdf/Annals_of_Aidans_in_Annandale.pdf)
Annandale’s Great War (http://www.ramin.com.au/walks/great-war-short-walk.shtml)
Australian War Memorial (https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1826295/)