Tuesday, April 24, 2012

East Brisbane War Memorial

Brisbane's first memorial to WWI service personnel was erected in Mowbray Park at East Brisbane after funds were raised by public donation. The foundation stone was laid in November 1916 and the memorial was officially unveiled on 11 August 1917 by Lady Goold-Adams, the wife of the governor. Atop the monument is the figure of an Australian Light Horseman, carved by Alfred Batstone. Here are a couple of photographs of it.
(Photo:Copyright DSEWPaC; rt52656)
(Photo: monumentaustralia.org.au)

The monument was moved from its original location in the park to allow for the expansion of the nearby bowls club. It is presently situated quite close to Lytton Rd in a beautiful arbor. The statue stands on a pedestal made from Helidon sandstone affixed with marble plaques containing the names of those from the district who did not return from WWI. It is flanked by two artillery pieces that came from Thursday Island where they had been part of Queensland's defences in the nineteenth century.  
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

The border surrounding the monument has been constructed from stone sourced from the demolition of the Brisbane Normal School in 1929. A neat hedge now encloses the monument.

Lest we forget.

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. The last photo is serene.

    You noted that the foundation stone was laid in November 1916, a very early date for a WW1 memorial. [Most memorials seemed to have emerged in the 1920s.] In 1916, the parents and widows would still have been in the most horrific part of their mourning process.

    Thus the peaceful, green surroundings would have been even more important. Since bodies were buried where they lay in France or Belgium, the war memorial would have been the only public place where parents and widows could go... to grieve for their men.

  2. Yes, a very early memorial, initially dedicated to all soldiers, sailors and nurses from the district who had enlisted - some 200 names. The list of names was further enlarged during and after the war.

    I like the setting of this memorial. The digger is standing at ease, surrounded by the most beautiful trees, and with the river flowing by behind. Many memorials have the poor digger standing to attention out in the hot sun (not that they are any the less moving for that), so this is a pleasant change.

  3. What a beautiful and poignant comment from Hels. I admit to looking forward to your Anzac Day post and wondering only recently what you would feature, as I love to learn more about the memorials in Brisbane. The flowering poinciana tree in the photo adds to the beauty of this memorial which appears from the photo to have so very many names on it.

  4. Comment from brismod that was somehow lost inside the blogosphere:

    "As children we used to play in Mowbray Park, so this memorial is part of my childhood memories. It is looking much more cared for and dignified with the lovely garden around it."

    brismod also noted that there is a new Queensland Government web site on WWII historical places. This is the link:


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