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Koch Ave Scarborough street history

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

Koch Ave (formerly Koch St and Helen St) was named after Colonial Felix Bernard Theodore Wilhelm Koch VD, who had decorated military career, fought in the Boer war, and was a bank manager who retired to live in Redcliffe.

Felix Bernard Theodor Wilhelm Koch (known as Theodor) was born in 1855 in Bremen, Germany to Franz Johannes Theodor Koch and Johanna Antoinetta Hilfers.

He came to Australia in 1874 (aged 19) and spent a year in South Australia before moving to Queensland in 1875.

In November 1877 he was added to the Bundaberg Electoral Roll.

Felix Bernard Theodor Wilhelm married Florence Boreham, youngest daughter of Charles Boreham, Esq., on the 25th June 1878, in Bundaberg, Queensland, Horace Burkitt, Esq., officiating.

Over the next seven years four sons made their appearances:

Felix Bernard Theodor (10/09/1879—20/03/1924) Veteran: Boer War, Great War.

George Hilfers (10/11/1880—17/03/1962) Veteran: pre-1914, Great war

Franz Richard (02/08/1884—06/12/1926) Military service pre-Great War

Harold Reginald (25/08/1885—24/03/1956) Veteran: Great War, WWII

Koch had a career in banking in Queensland. Amongst his appointments were: - 1875 - Bank of NSW, Brisbane 1977 - Bank of NSW, Bundaberg 1882 - Bank of NSW, Rockhampton 1889 - Bank of NSW, Clermont 1890 - Gympie

1894-1906 - Manager, Royal Bank of Queensland, Rockhampton

1906 - Manager, Royal Bank of Queensland, Charters Towers

1913-1919 - Manager, Royal Bank of Queensland, Laidley

Felix Bernard Theodor Wilhelm Koch had a long and distinguished career in the military in Queensland:

Colonial Auxiliary Forces - Officers' Decoration

  • In 1886 he was promoted to Captain in the Colonial Auxiliary Forces.

  • In April 1899 he was a Major (and Captain Harry Chauvel was adjutant) for the annual inspection of the first battalion of the First (Moreton) Regiment, by the Commandant, on the 22nd.

  • In 1902 he was awarded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration (for long and meritorious service as a part-time commissioned officer in any of the organized military forces of the British Colonies, Dependencies and Protectorate (ie at least 20 years service). His rank by now was Major.

  • On the 9th April 1907 he transferred from the Port Curtis Infantry to the Kennedy Infantry Regiment, to be Major, with regimental seniority as from date of transfer.

  • His promotion to Lt-Colonel was announced on Saturday the 8th July 1911.

  • He was a Colonel by June of 1915, when his daughter-in-law, Addie, was staying with him at Royal Bank, Laidley, while her husband (Felix Bernard Theodor) was overseas during the Great War.

May 1902 - Officers of the fifth Queensland Contingent taken on the day of their return.

Front row: Captain Dodds, Major Toll, Lieutenant Loynes -- Back row: Lieutenant G. Koch, S. Hunter, B.W. Cook, F.B.T. Koch. Photo from the State Library of Queensland.


Major F. B. T. W. Koch is one of the Queensland officers who has been granted the long-service badge. Major Koch,says the Brisbane Courier of Saturday last, joined the Ko. 2 Companv. Ipswich, under the old Volunteer Act in August, 1876, as a private and was in the following year transferred to No. 10 Company, Bundaberg, and promoted to the rank of sergeant in the same year. He acted as quartermaster-sergeant during two camps under the late Major G. N. B. Gowry. He was elected lieutenant on the 7th of June, 1879, and passed for his rank in November of the same year. He served as lieutenant in that corps until June, 1882, when he was transferred to the consolidated corps. K and L companies, Rockhampton serving under Lieutenant Colonel Fees and the late Captain C. S. D Melbourne, taking charge of K Company in 1885 on the retirement of Captain Melbourne. The new Defence Act had at this time been passed. Major Koch passed for the rank of captain in November, 1885, receiving special mention in General Orders for the pass. In March, 1889, being then in the empty of the Bank of New South Wales, and transferred to the Clermont branch, be had to apply for transfer to the unattached list, as no corps was in existence in Clermont, and his efforts to form one were unsuccessful. On being transferred in November, 1890, to Gympie,he at once applied for attachment to the 2nd Regiment and was appointed early in 1891 to form a new company in connection with that regiment. He passed his examination for the rank of Major in 1892, received his promotion in 1897, and also obtained a certificate in military topography. In 1893 he was transferred to the Moreton Regiment, commanding C Company until June, 1900, since when he has been acting as adjutant to the regiment. Major Koch had two sons in the South African war, serving as officers.

Photo c. 1919 of Major F. B. T. Koch V.D., Lieutenant F. B. T. Koch and Lieutenant G. H. Koch.

From the State Library OF Queensland Library:

Caption: "Soldier standing is Major F. B. T. Koch V. D. (Voluntary Defence).Felix Bernard Theodor Koch was a Private in the 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry Contingent in the Boer War. He became a Corporal on 17 February 1900 and a Sergeant on 21 July 1900. He was slightly wounded at Koster River on 22 July 1901. He was later a Lieutenant (Supernumerary) in the 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen Contingent; and then a Lieutenant in the 7th Brisbane Australian Commonwealth Horse (Qld). On 22 December 1914 he embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT Themistocles as a Lieutenant in the 9th Infantry Battalion - 1 to 9 Reinforcements (December 1914 - September 1915)."

He was council Alderman on the Redcliffe Town Council on June 26th 1926 to fill the vacancy made by the resignation of G.J Manson.

Photo of Councillors and staff: S.G. Bailey, A. Sampson, W. Woodcock, J.B. Dunn, A.H. Langdon (Mayor), F.B.T. Koch, Miss R. Kerr (Clerk), J. Wilson (Engineer). 1930-1933.

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-000\000846

He was elected councillor in 1927. 1930 and 1933.

March 1928 - Redcliffe Town Council:

from left: Walter Woodcock, F.B. Theodor Koch, John Bowen Dunn, Samuel George Bailey (mayor) , John Wilson (engineer) , Arthur Sampson, Hubert Arthur Elson, L.J. Lucas (Town Clerk) front: Miss R. Kerr.

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RLPC-000\000845

He was also a Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland.

Opening of the Scarborough Jetty which was built by relief labour during the depression - Alderman McPherson, Alderman Koch, Alderman Filmer, Mayor A.H. Langdon and Mr L. Lucas the Town Clerk.

Photo from the Moreton Bay Library Collection: RMPC-100\100253

Florence Koch passed away in January 1939:

Death at Redcliffe of Mrs. Florence Koch

After an illness of four months Mrs. Florence Koch, wife of Colonel F. B. T. Koch, who commanded the Moreton Regiment for many years, died at her home, The Gunyah, Redcliffe, yesterday. The late Mrs. Koch, who was the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Boreham, came to Australia from England with her parents at a very early age. She lived in Bundaberg with them for many years. After her marriage to Colonel Koch she lived in many country towns of Queensland, as her husband was connected with the Bank of New South Wales. For the past 14 years Colonel and Mrs. Koch have made their home at Redcliffe, where Mrs. Koch always took an active part in the work of St. Mary's Church of England. She had four sons, all of whom held commissions in the A.I.F. Two sons predeceased her, namely Messrs. Theo and Franz Koch. Her surviving sons are Mr. George Koch, Brisbane, and Captain Harold Koch, M.C., who is on his way from Rabaul to Brisbane by plane. Following a service to be conducted by Rev. J. Tweedie (rector) at St. Mary's, Redcliffe, the funeral is taking place at Lutwyche Cemetery at 3 o'clock this afternoon.

Colonel Felix Bernard Theodor Wilhelm Koch VD passed away on the 1st September 1944, at his home "The Gunyah', Silvester St, Redcliffe.

Early c.1920s map of Queens Beach Estate showing Koch Ave was originally called Helen St. Osbourne St was also listed as Duncan St.

1942 and 1956 aerials of Koch Ave:

1951 Refidex:

Prize winning gardens of Mr Barty Kluck at 24 Osbourne St Scarborough. On the corner of Koch Ave. c.1960s.

A large framed 1m long aerial map of Queens Beach, including Koch Ave, is available to view and purchase at:

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