BALD, Alice Louisa
Alice Louisa Parker, daughter of George Henry Parker and Mary Ann Barrett, was born on 25 December 1895. On 3 February 1921 she married Hurtle Clifford Bald at the Methodist Church, Brinkworth, South Australia. When Hurtle was transferred to Darwin in 1928 to take up the post of Darwin Postmaster, he and Alice were accompanied by their two children, Iris, born in Port Augusta on 7 December 1921 and Peter, born in Kapunda on 25 March 1926. They moved into the Postmaster’s residence that was originally built in 1872 and renovated in 1897.
When Alice Parker married Hurtle Bald she was a qualified teacher, having passed her exams and been appointed as a provisional assistant teacher at Port Augusta in January, 1914. Alice Bald was a competitive tennis player, playing in teams like the Kapunda and Kadina Methodist at the New South Wales Championships. Bald played in all the places that Hurtle had been stationed. Alice and Hurtle Bald often attended the social functions held in the various places that Hurtle had been posted in South Australia.
When the wives and children of those stationed in Darwin were evacuated in December 1941, Bald refused to leave. Instead, she volunteered to stay behind and was employed as an exempt telephonist and worked at the busy exchange situated in the complex.
When the air raid siren sounded on 19 February 1942, the post office staff took shelter in the trenches that had been dug around the complex. Unfortunately, a bomb landed on the one sheltering Hurtle, Alice and Iris Bald, among others, killing them all instantly.
Alice Bald was buried in a temporary grave at Kahlin Beach; she was then re-buried at the Berrimah War Cemetery, and her final resting place is the Adelaide War Cemetery.
Bald received a Civil Service Medal 1939–1945 posthumously on 9 January 1998. This medal is for civilians who served in arduous circumstances in support of the war effort as part of organisations with military-like arrangements and conditions of service.
Alice, Hurtle and Iris Bald each have a street named after them in the Darwin suburb of Alawa. Nearby there is also a Bald Park and Bald Circuit named in their honour.
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