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Ipswich Soldiers Memorial Hall R.S.L.A.

Description

The building is an elaborately conceived design by George Brockwell Gill in a variant of Edwardian Baroque. The street elevation is stongly modelled with a tall cement rendered central section projecting in front of a predominantly brick background.

This front section is more overtly classical in detail than the rest of the building, having a triangular pediment to the upper floor window, with a parapet above and conventional architrave pilasters and balustrade, and below this is a segmental pediment over the large central ground floor opening, which is circular with rusticated voussoirs and keystone.

The pediment contains the rising sun military badge in relief. The brick section flanking this rendered facade section has less ostentatious detailing including visible hipped roofs and bevelled corners, throwing the visual emphasis forward to the rendered classical facade.

Location
61 Nicholas Street, Ipswich Qld 4305

Location of Ipswich Soldiers Memorial Hall R.S.L.A.

Inscription

IN REMEMBRANCE

THIS BUILDING WAS ERECTED BY THE CITIZENS OF IPSWICH
IN HONOUR OF THE MEN WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING
AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918.
THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE.

Conflicts commemorated
First World War, 1914-1918
Memorial type
Building
Commemorative services held

ANZAC Day Dawn Service and a Service later in the morning.

Additional information

During World War a number of memorials were erected to perpetuate the memory of those who had gone to fight. After the signing of the Armistice however, the citizens of Ipswich decided a more significant memorial was required. It was finally agreed that the most suitable would be a Soldiers Memorial Hall.

In 1920, with the permission and assistance of the then Minister of Lands, it was decided to erect a hall on a portion of the area known as the Central Gardens, or more commonly the Pump Yard as it was here that the first pump for public water supply was located.

Plans for this hall were drawn up by architect George Brockwell Gill. It was a two storey design plus a basement. The first floor was to house the City Council's Library with the other two floors containing lounge rooms, a buffet, two billiards rooms and an assembly hall.

Half the funds for the building were raised by public subscriptions, minting and selling badges engraved with 'Returned Soldiers Building Fund', dances in the Town Hal|concert parties and travelling tent shows in Devil's Gully held by Birch, Carrol and Coyle. Perhaps the most notable fundraising efforts were performed by the 'Ipswich Train Tea Ladies'. This group of women met every arriving and departing troop train at Ipswich Station and served the soldier's tea.

The Ipswich City Council supplied the remainder of the funds.

The cornerstone was laid by General Sir William Birdwood on the 4 May 1920. Work on the building started with builder F.J. Lye, brickwork by A. Mansfield, plaster by J. Jamieson, joinery by A. Foote plumbing, by J.M. Wallis and electrical work by W.J. Trattles. The cost of the building was in the vicinity 11,000 pounds.

On 26 November 1921 in a grand ceremony the hall was officially opened by the governor Sir Matthew Nathan. A committee comprised of five returned soldiers and five council Aldermen, the Memorial Hall Committee was formed to administer the building.

(R.S.L.A. - Returned Service League Australia)

Recorded by
Tanya Jen, Ipswich City Council
Date recorded
27 March 2009

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