The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Remembering Sherbourne Murray Sheppard

A fond memory of Sherbourne Sheppard. The signed 1925 photograph features the First Football Team XVIII the year they won the Alcock Cup. Sherbourne can be found in the back row, third from the right, looking rather solemn.

Our formidable Archive recently received a photographic donation from sisters Laurelei and Gaye Moore – daughters of Old Scotch Collegian Sherbourne Murray Sheppard (OSC 1925) and nieces of Melville Digby Sheppard (OSC 1924).

Hailing from Sydney, Laurelei and Gaye travelled to Western Australia for the first time this summer and visited their late father's school. The sisters fondly remember their father reminiscing about the "wonderful years he spent at Scotch".

Sherbourne was born in 1908, in a lighthouse off the coast of Darwin, to an Australian father and British South African mother. He was one of four siblings – older brother Melville and two younger sisters, Wilga and Win (Ethelwyn). The family grew up on rubber plantations in the Dutch East Indies (East Java), speaking Dutch, Indonesian and English.

When he first arrived at Scotch College as a boarder with his brother Melville, he was known as "Dutchie".

Laurelei recalled: "In Java, he would tell us how the tigers would roar in the jungle across the river. He was very athletic and excelled in shooting and football, and also did well academically."

During the Second World War, Sherbourne joined the RAAF and travelled on the Queen Mary from New York to London, dodging the U-boats. He was a reconnaissance photographer on the bombing raids over Europe.

"We actually don't know what he did between joining the RAAF after leaving school and meeting our mother Joyce Lee-Archer while working at the National Bank Head Office in Melbourne in Accounts and Photography," reflected Laurelei.

"He married our mother and settled in Melbourne after the War. We have an older brother Leigh, born in 1946, and we [Laurelei and Gaye] were born in 1950. Dad remained at the bank as their official photographer for all branches in Victoria and he also won many photographic awards in the community. He died in 1986, survived by his fourteen grandchildren and twenty-six great grandchildren. His brother Melville went on to become a prominent surgeon in England and has a hospital wing named after him in Essex."

The brothers were the grandsons of Sherbourne Sheppard, who founded Shepparton in Victoria, and the great-grandsons of Jonathan Binns Were, founder of the eminent stock broking business JB Were.

The family's generous donation includes images of Sherbourne and Melville Sheppard growing up in Java, Sherbourne wearing his WW2 RAAF uniform, and photographs of him later in life.

If you would like to make a donation to our Archive, please get in touch at

Yasmin McDonald