East Brisbane (Mowbray Park) War Memorial
Following the First World War, many communities, as well as groups and organisations, honoured those who had served by erecting various memorials and honour boards. Some memorials were also established whilst the war was still running its course. In 1916-17, the earliest First World War memorial in Brisbane, an honour roll and statue honouring those soldiers, sailors and nurses who had enlisted for active service from the East Brisbane and Kangaroo Point areas, was erected at Mowbray Park, by the local community.
The funds needed to build this memorial were raised by public subscription by the East Brisbane Cadet Committee and the tender of £187 from W. Batstone and Sons was accepted in March, 1916. The statue, depicting an Australian Light Horseman, was carved by Alfred Batstone. The memorial’s foundation stone was laid in November 1916 by the then Governor of Queensland, Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams and the memorial was unveiled on 11th August 1917 by Lady Goold-Adams. The statue was flanked by two cannon, bearing the royal monogram of Queen Victoria, which were said to have been part of Thursday Island’s defences during the late 19th century, but which may have been at Fort Lytton at some point. At the time of the unveiling, the memorial was surrounded by a garden in the shape of a Red Cross.
Honour rolls were added to the memorial during and after the war and a surrounding metal rail was added in 1925. This metal rail was later replaced by stone kerbing, said to have been sourced from the Normal School building in Adelaide Street, then being demolished to make way for ANZAC Square. The life-size statue is made from Helidon sandstone, a popular material widely used in construction in the Brisbane area, with the memorial’s base made of Melbourne granite. More than 700 names are recorded on the memorial.
In 1974, the Mowbray Park War Memorial was moved to its present location to allow for extensions then being undertaken to the East Brisbane Bowls Club.