I CAN remember as a very small boy hearing Sid Marsh’s centurion voice barking commands as he drilled men and youths in Bulli Park in the early 1920s.
We lived at the corner of Farrell Road and Artis Street at the time and Sid’s voice could be heard quite plainly from that distance.
As far as I can ascertain there was compulsory military training for young men in those years, circa 1922.
These training excercises were on a Saturday afternoon when the park had its rotunda of German guns and a large flagpole on the knoll a few yards down from the Catholic church.
Almost opposite the rotunda in Park Road was the Drill Hall and in the valley between Park Road and Point Street was the rifle range. It featured targets in the sand dunes and the long range firing spot was just east of the railway. The range was also in operation on Saturdays.
One of Sid’s brothers – I think his name was Stan – was a fishmonger. His cart was a welcome sight with beautiful fresh fish and prawns in season.