Beaudesert War Memorial (Digger)

Location of Beaudesert War Memorial (Digger)

Located at the intersection of Brisbane and William Streets and Mt Lindesay Highway
Beaudesert QLD 4285

The First World War Memorial is situated on a traffic island in the intersection of Brisbane and William Streets in the centre of Beaudesert. The island is enclosed by a fence comprising rough-cut porphyry blocks, margined and chiselled, with pyramidal tops. These are linked by decorative metal chains. A narrow garden bed is located outside the fence line.

The sandstone memorial stands 33 feet high and comprises a substantial pedestal surmounted by a digger statue and an obelisk. Sandstone lions on rough-cut porphyry bases are located at two corners of the triangle, facing outwards. In front of the east facing lion is a metal drinking fountain.

The monument sits on a sloping rough-cut step with a flat top plate with semi-circular edges. Surmounting this is a smooth-faced step with chamfered top, above which is the pedestal dado. This is smooth-faced, rectangular in plan and divided into five bays of equal height and varying width. The end and central bays project outward, with the central bay of the front face projecting further to form a pedestal for the digger statue. The whole of the pedestal is capped by a shallow cornice.

The front face of the pedestal dado displays marble plates bearing the leaded names of the local men who served in the First World War. Additional plates bear the names of those who died in the Second World War, creating a total of 557 names; 524 local men who enlisted during the First World War, including the 91 who died as well as the names of those who died in the Second World War. Small bronze plaques attached to the second step commemorate the Malayan, Korean, Borneo and Vietnam conflicts. The foundation stone is located on the lower section of the rear central bay.

Surmounting the front central bay is a life-sized digger statue. He stands completely at ease, with his collar unbuttoned and a pipe in his right hand. The left hand holds a rifle which is slung over the left shoulder. He is described as just released from duty.

The digger statue stands in front of an obelisk which rises from a smooth-faced square plinth with a shallow cornice. On either side of the plinth rest stylised scrolls with bronze AIF badges on the front faces. The obelisk tapers sharply to a pyramidal apex and has bronze wreaths positioned on each face. Below the wreath on the front face, the words THE GREAT WAR 1916 TO 1919 appear in bronze. (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
Cenotaph/shrine
Commemorative services held

Anzac Day 25 April Dawn Service 4.25am
Anzac Day 25 April 11.30am

Additional information

The memorial was erected by public subscription by the Beaudesert and District Soldiers Memorial Fund, at a substantial cost of 1,340 pounds. The proposal originated at a public meeting held in May 1918. Early in 1919 the fund advertised widely for designs and that of the Standard Masonry Works, Melbourne, was chosen. A H Conrad, of the Brisbane firm of Atkinson and Conrad was appointed as supervising architect and made slight alterations to the design. After the Melbourne masonry firm was unable to carry out their contract, the tender of W E Parsons of Brisbane was accepted in June 1920 and he has signed the soldier statue. The foundation stone was laid on 10 December 1919 by the then Mayoress of Beaudesert, Mrs H L Macdonald. It was unveiled on 28 September 1921 by the then Governor of Queensland, Sir Matthew Nathan. Name plates were later added for World War II and commemorative plaques for the Korean War, Malayan and Indonesian conflicts and the Vietnam War.

The memorial is situated on a triangular piece of land at the centre of town. This site was originally part of William Duckett White and George Robinsons Beaudesert Run and was at the intersection formed where the roads from Nindooinbah (600027), Telemon and Kerry Stations met the Brisbane Road. Beaudesert was one of the few private Queensland towns. It was never gazetted, and buildings were erected before surveying and subdivision occurred. This corner site has always been triangular in form.

On 10 December 1919, the foundation stone was laid by the Mayoress of Beaudesert, Mrs H L McDonald and the completed work was unveiled by the Governor, Sir Matthew Nathan on 28 September 1921. A flagpole, trench mortar and field gun were subsequently installed but the military hardware disappeared during the Second World War. Since 1922 plaques for ensuing military conflicts have been added.

The site is regarded as a reserve and in 1925 three trustees were appointed, the Mayor of the Town of Beaudesert and the Chairmen of Beaudesert and Tambourine Shire Councils. In 1953 the Beaudesert Shire Council was appointed the Trustee and has been responsible for the maintenance of the memorial since.(Source: Queensland Cultural Heritage Register)

Recorded by
Shirley and Trevor McIvor/Dennis Stocks and Doug Tanner
Date recorded
19 March 2009

Nearby memorials