Many Australian towns have been renamed during the course of time, but Holbrook is a bit of a rarity. The small Hume Highway town has been saddled with four names since explorers Hume and Hovell passed this way in 1824 and entered Friday Mount in their journal.
By the time the first settlers dropped their swags in 1838 the staging post north of Albury was known as Ten Mile Creek. Twenty years on it became Germanton and so it remained until local hero Lt Norman Holbrook became the first submarine commander in World War I to receive the Victoria Cross and a grateful nation renamed the town in his honour.
Holbrook joined the VC-holders when he negotiated a minefield off the Dardenelles to torpedo and sink a Turkish battleship in December, 1914.
A replica of his submarine is mounted in Holbrook Park, while the story of his gallantry is recorded in the Woolpack Inn Museum, which is located in the Criterion Hotel building which opened for business in 1895.
Holbrook's association with submariners is reinforced by the presence of the real thing in the form of the 90-metre, HMAS Otway. The Otway Subamarine Memorial alongside the main road was financed by public subscription and a $100,000 donation by Holbrook's widow.