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Anne Fraser Bon

The Home Front: Australia during the First World War

Anne Fraser Bon, grazier, and 'Cocky'

Anne Fraser Bon, 1904.
Anne Fraser Bon, 1904.

In late 1917, Anne Fraser Bon loaned her pet cockatoo to No. 1 Rest Home in Melbourne.

She thought Cocky would cheer up the wounded soldiers who were undergoing rehabilitation and retraining. Cocky quickly learned their colourful language and even picked up a few words of German.

A patient at No. 1 Rest Home trained Cocky to sit on his shoulder when he went out for a walk. Worried that Cocky would fly off, Bon asked for his return. Cocky died in 1925, aged 47.

Bon successfully managed her family’s cattle properties while being a generous philanthropist involved in Aboriginal, migrant and mental health issues.

After the war, she donated £20 each Christmas to every blinded soldier in Victoria.

A stuffed sulphur-crested cockatoo on a perch.
The stuffed remains of ‘Cocky’, Anne Fraser Bon’s sulphur-crested cockatoo, which died in 1925, aged 47.