Monday, February 22, 2016

Cameron Rocks War Memorial

In an earlier post I mentioned the proposed upgrade to one of Brisbane's busiest roads, Kingsford Smith Drive, hoping that the roadworks would not be too detrimental to the area and to traffic flow.

Here is another reason for the utmost care to be taken - one of Brisbane's war memorials, this one in a stunning riverside setting at Cameron Rocks. Here is a current image.
(Photo: Kgbo via Wikimedia)

The memorial was unveiled on 16 August 1931 by the governor, Sir John Goodwin. It is situated on the riverbank at Albion, sandwiched between the Brisbane River and Kingsford Smith Drive, just downstream from Breakfast Creek. The memorial to WWI vets from the area is used each year for Anzac Day ceremonies.

The web site Monument Australia discloses the  following information about it:
The Hamilton Town Council proposed erecting a memorial at Cameron Rocks as a memorial to the soldiers who left the town to fight in the Great War. The project was started during the war but the Council was prevented by Commonwealth edict from raising money. It remained in abeyance until 1922, when the Mayor Alderman CM Jenkinson received further donations. In 1924, there was enough money to start but not complete the memorial. It was planned to erect a pagoda in the form of a Victoria Cross surmounted by a tower with a four face clock with a water fountain installed in the centre of the pagoda. The memorial was unveiled in its present form by the Governor of Queensland Lieutenant-General Sir John Goodwin on the 16th August 1931.
The Brisbane Courier , 9th January & 10th March 1924, 17th August 1931
Kingsford Smith Drive is to be widened to six traffic lanes plus the addition of walking and bicycle lanes. The extra real estate required will come from using clever engineering over the river together with some resumption of properties. The web pages outlining the work to be done talk about the "rejuvenation" of the Cameron Rocks reserve, including a refurbished memorial. Not a lot of detail.

Let's hope that this piece of history that was such a struggle at inception is not adversely effected by any change.

Click here for a Google Map.

tff 


3 comments:

  1. I have seen many war memorials that should have gone up in 1919 but were delayed by financial or governmental issues. Your lovely memorial at Cameron Rocks was unveiled as late as August 1931, right in the middle of Australia's worst ever Depression.

    But where did parents who lost their sons in 1914, 1915 etc go to remember their beautiful boys? They couldn't go to Flanders or Gallipoli to claim the bodies, so it might have been something of a comfort to have had a memorial like this to visit. And maybe the riverside setting and park surrounds were peaceful.

    I wonder if passers-by in 2016 even remember what it was all about.

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  2. I am sure the community was thankful when, at last, the monument was unveiled. Today the monument and its grassy surrounds are a serene contrast to the busy road alongside.
    I hope it remains that way.

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  3. So little historical monuments and landmarks are being given the respect and attention they deserve. But I do think that there are groups in Brisbane that are keen to make sure that that's exactly what happens!

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