Sparke Helmore Lawyers is proud to have supported the return of the Birdwood Flag to Newcastle's Christ Church Cathedral. The flag, which was the first recorded and officially sanctioned Australian flag on a battlefield, was rehallowed during a religious service yesterday.
Dora Sparke—daughter of Sparke Helmore's founder William Sparke—led a group of women in the Hunter to raise funds for the creation of the flag, which was flown at the headquarters of General William Riddell Birdwood, Commander of the Australian Imperial Force, in Europe during World War One.
The flag was returned to Dora after the war, who gave it to the Cathedral where it hung for decades in the Warrior's Chapel before it was lost. In need of significant repair when rediscovered in 2013, an 18-month restoration project was undertaken to restore it to its former glory.
"The flag became an emblem of Australian soldiers during the war and is of high national historic significance," said Newcastle Office Managing Partner, Greg Guest. "Sparke Helmore is incredibly proud to have supported the return of such an important piece of Australian history that has strong ties to the Hunter as well as to the founder of our firm."
This year Sparke Helmore is celebrating 135 years of service in the Hunter, after William Sparke first opened his office on Hunter Street, Newcastle in September 1882.