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state library of queensland
John Oxley Library

A Lesson to the Living: The Indooroopilly War Memorial

By JOL Admin | 14 June 2014

One of the great pleasures of this job is meeting people from the community conducting valuable research into the service and sacrifice of Queenslanders during WWI.

Many individuals of that wartime generation paid the ultimate sacrifice and their names are chiselled into monuments in towns and cities across the State.

One such monument is the Indooroopilly War Memorial located at Keating Park, Indooroopilly in Brisbane.

This marble structure was designed by H M Mobsby and erected in 1921. Formally unveiled by the Governor of Queensland, Sir Matthew Nathan KCMG, the event was fully reported in the Brisbane Courier on Monday 28 February, 1921:

A Lesson to the Living, Indooroopilly Memorial Unveiled by the Governor

"The country will not forget either those who lost their lives, or those who have been left behind to mourn them," said his Excellency, the Governor on Saturday afternoon, when unveiling the monument to fallen sailors and soldiers which has been erected by public subscription through the Progress Association of Indooroopilly. "Monuments such as these," continued Sir Matthew Nathan, "will keep green for neighbours and fellow citizens, the memory of individual heroes. They should do something more. They should be a lesson to the living, as well as a memorial to the dead. The thought of the sacrifice made by these men should make others think what they, in their turn, can sacrifice for their country's good. There is a sacrifice that most of us can make to help this land - the sacrifice of our hates and prejudices which not only cause war, but mar the joys of peace. These are the elements of which are built up the more material hindrances to the unity of the State, and to the progress towards better conditions." The ceremony of unveiling the monument was followed by a brief silence, after which "The Last Post" was sounded. The citizen' laurel wreath was then placed upon the monument by the Governor, who was followed by relatives and friends of the fallen soldiers with floral tributes, which were laid upon the base of the pillar.

I have gone past this monument many times and never stopped to look at those names and think of the individual men and their families. Thank you to Mr James W Gibson for lodging at the State Library a copy of his publication Forgotten Heroes.

This important booklet provides the story behind each of the named individuals on the Indooroopilly War Memorial.

Like the monument itself it is a lesson to the living.

Simon Farley

Curator, Military Collections

State Library of Queensland


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