by Cathy Jones‘Del Norte’ (formerly Strach-Ur’), 109 Rochester St Strathfield was the home of Alexander Hood and his family. Hood’s story is prominently featured in the current WWI exhibition ‘Strathfield answers the call’ at Strathfield Library https://www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au/event/strathfield-answers-the-call-1914-1918/. Hood was killed in action in 1917, leaving behind his widow and eight children.
Hood’s house in Rochester Street was built in 1913 on the southern tip of the ‘Village of Homebush’ Estate, a 1878 subdivision of the Underwood Estate. He named his house ‘Strach-ur’, a reference to his Scottish ancestry. (Link to more detailed historical information on the house at 109 Rochester St)
Prior to his war service, Hood was a water contractor and amongst his works was the installation of the Junee water supply, and the laying of the mains for the Mayfield portion of the Newcastle sewerage service. He enlisted to serve in WWI and as Sgt. Alex. Hood, of the Engineers, he was killed in action on October 31 1917 aged 44 years. Hood left behind a wife, Edith (nee Wilson) and eight children. In memorium notifications in the Sydney Morning Herald on 31 October 1918, his widow and children wrote:
HOOD.—In fond and loving memory of my dear brave husband, Sergt. Alexander Hood, 1st Tunnelling Company, killed in action, October 31, 1917. He lies beside his comrades, In an honoured grave in France. God will link the broken chain Closer, when we meet again. Inserted by his loving wife, Edie, Rochester-street, Homebush.
HOOD.—In proud and loving memory of our dear brave father, Sergt Alexander Hood, 1st Tunnelling Com pany, killed in action October 31st, 1917.No space of time, no lapse of years, Can dim our father’s past. A loving memory holds him ever dear, And will until the last, Inserted by his loving children. Fanny, Agnes, Robert, Arthur, Alec, Stewart, Edith and Dugald.
By 1920, Edith Hood had sold the Rochester Street house and appears to have left this area.
The house was sold c.1920 to George Fuge, a clerk, who renamed the house ‘Del Norte’.