Eton First World War Memorial
The small town of Eton is situated approximately twenty-five kilometres to the south-west of Mackay and as with many other towns and communities in Queensland and elsewhere it was dramatically impacted by the loss of life during the First World War.
Eton’s First World War memorial is located in Langford Park in Telegraph Street, Eton and is a prominent feature within the surrounding landscape, standing behind the Second World War memorial gates erected at the corner entrance of the park. The memorial, of predominantly concrete construction, comprises a wreath draped cross atop a tall pedestal with a three-stepped square base. The pedestal, which is marked by a white cornice at its top, has three granite plates, listing the names of the eighty-nine local residents who served in the First World War. These listings also include eighteen who were killed in action, one who died of wounds as well as those others who enlisted to serve. The memorial’s main inscription reads as follows:
“This memorial was erected by public subscription in commemoration of those brave men who fought and fell in the Great War 1914-1918”
The monument was funded by the local community and constructed by Melrose and Fenwick Limited in its Monumental Works and Wrought Iron Railing Factory in Townsville. This company also built a number of other war memorials throughout Queensland during and after the war, including the Mackay Cenotaph. The unveiling of the memorial was initially planned for ANZAC Day, 1924 but was postponed due to delays in the supply of the necessary stone and completion of construction.
The unveiling ceremony took place on the afternoon of Sunday 13th September 1924, in front of a large audience. The Reverend F.L. Ash led proceedings, congratulating the community for its efforts in creating the memorial. Other speakers included Mr. Kern, Dr. L.W. Nott, the Mayor of Mackay and Mr. W.H. Kirkup, the Chairman of Pioneer Council. The Mayor, Dr. Nott, also congratulated the community for its efforts in erecting the memorial. The actual unveiling was undertaken by Mrs. T. Bagley and Mrs. E. Beldan. The unveiling was reported in detail in the Mackay Mercury, with the article outlining that the Eton First World War memorial “had been erected by the citizens of Eton and district to honour the dead and commemorate the living”.