|Honour Board inside the former Townsville Railway Station. Photo: T. Fielding, 2013.|
In other parts of Queensland - in Gigoomgan in the Wide Bay region there’s a memorial wooden bridge (which was privately funded and erected on a public road), and in Mount Morgan there’s a memorial bell hanging outside the local scout hut. It’s called the Mafeking Bell and it commemorates the Relief of Mafeking, during the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902). The bell itself was cast from pennies that were donated by local school children, so it’s quite unusual as a war memorial. In Springsure, the state school there is home to the only World War I memorial fountain located in the grounds of a state school in Queensland. The fountain is dedicated to past students of Springsure State School who served in World War I. The names are listed on plaques at the base of the fountain, 79 in total, and somewhat unusually, the list includes first names as well, instead of just the usual initials.
|Springsure Memorial Fountain. Photo: Queensland War Memorial Register|
Being home to a large defence base, Townsville is home to many war memorials. There’s a memorial in Townsville for almost every conflict and also peace-keeping missions as well. All arms of the defence forces are represented. For a complete list of war memorials in Townsville, go to Queensland War Memorial Register and search for Townsville as the location. Two of the more modern ones include the Battle of the Coral Sea Memorial and the ANZAC Way Memorial, both located in ANZAC Memorial Park, on The Strand.
|Cenotaph (Soldier's Memorial), The Strand, Townsville, showing original clock faces, no date. |
Photo: CityLibraries Townsville Local History Collection.
At the former Townsville West State School on Ingham Road is the Soldier’s Memorial Gates, dedicated in 1921. The Memorial Gates are set into a recess in the Ingham Road fence. The gateway is a free-standing masonry archway with a pair of wrought iron gates that include the words ‘Soldiers Memorial Gate of Honour’. On the cornice of the masonry gate, are the words ‘Their Name Liveth For Ever’, with the dates ‘1914’ and ‘1919’ on each pier. Mounted just inside the archway are two white marble tablets entitled ‘Honour Roll, Townsville West State School’. Each tablet is inscribed with about 100 names.
|West End State School Memorial Gate, 1971. Photo: CityLibraries Townsville Local History Collection.|
|Tobruk Memorial Baths, The Strand, Townsville. Photo: T. Fielding, 2012.|
Strangely enough, no. The Boer War memorials, in particular, or more correctly – ‘monuments’ – were erected as reflections of pride in each town or state’s contribution to the ‘Empire’. But the loss of Australian lives was minimal in that conflict (about 500), compared to the Great War – that is, World War I – where 60,000 Australian lives were lost. The sheer loss of life and the national grief that followed World War I sparked the trend in increased numbers of memorials. They became ‘sites’, so to speak, of shared mourning.