Rockhampton War Memorial

Location of Rockhampton War Memorial

Botanic Gardens
Rockhampton QLD 4700

The tallest and arguably the most awe inspiring of all Queenslands war monuments; as the most costly war monument in Queensland (2,654 pounds in 1924); and as a major regional war memorial. The Centotaph to the First World War is situated in the Botanic Gardens in Rockhampton.

It sits in the centre of a neat grass mound and is approached by a paved path from the south. The path surrounds grass mound, forming a circle which is reinforced by garden beds and evenly spaced Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis), traditionally a symbol of victory. The grassed area is free of planting apart from a flower bed on the northern side in which herbaceous plants are pruned to form the word ANZAC surrounded by a border. A gun or war trophy is located in the centre of the approach path.

The memorial stands 64 feet from the ground and is of Gracemere Grey granite. It comprises a plinth surmounted by a large obelisk.

The pedestal is located in the centre of a double stepped base which has rock faced vertical surfaces and smooth horizontal surfaces. The plinth is square in plan and is surmounted by the pedestal dado which is made up of three granite blocks. On the front face of the dado are the words IN REMEMBRANCE TO THOSE WHO FELL and the dates of the First World War and later conflicts. A polished granite plate has been bolted to the lower front face and also has dates of later conflicts. The northern side displays the word SACRIFICE on the top block.

The pedestal is surmounted by a tall obelisk which culminates in a pyramidal apex. It is an uncommon example of a memorial still situated in an original and intact setting.

(Source: Queensland Cultural Heritage Register)

Inscription

Refer to additional images.

Conflicts commemorated
  • First World War, 1914–1918
  • Second World War, 1939–1945
  • Malayan Emergency, 1948–1960
  • Korean War, 1950–1953
  • Indonesian Confrontation, 1962–1966
  • Vietnam War, 1962–1972
Memorial type
Column/obelisk/pillar
Commemorative services held

ANZAC and Remembrance Day services are held at the memorial.

Additional information

The movement to erect a local monument to WWI originated with a public meeting held in February 1919. It was then resolved to try to induce the various towns and shires in Central Queensland to cooperate in erecting a large regional monument at Rockhampton. The site first chosen was the river bank and in 1921 the so-called Central Queensland War Memorial Committee held a national competition for a suitable design, but most of the entries were disqualified on the grounds of excessive cost. In 1922 Rockhampton architects, Hockings & Palmer, were commissioned for the present design for the citys gardens. It was erected at a cost of 2,564 pounds - making it the most costly of all Queenslands war monuments. The masonry work was carried out by F M Allan of Rockhampton and the surrounds laid out by the then Curator of the Botanic Gardens, R Simmons. The memorial was unveiled on 16 October 1924 by the then State Governor, Sir Matthew Nathan.

Recorded by
Shirley and Trevor McIvor
Date recorded
12 March 2009

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