Boonah War Memorial (Digger)

Location of Boonah War Memorial (Digger)

Boonah Memorial Park, Park Street and Yeates Avenue
Boonah QLD 4310

The First World War Memorial is situated in the Memorial Park in Boonah, addressing the intersection of Park and Yeates Streets. The park is enclosed by a substantial brick and wrought iron fence with concrete dressings painted white. Wrought iron gates are located at the front and rear corners and are flanked by white painted pillars with ball finials. All wrought iron has been painted silver. The park is laid out formally on a diagonal axis running from the intersection of Park and Yeates Streets to the opposite corner. A central red painted concrete path with white painted concrete kerbing leads to the memorial which is surrounded by symmetrical tiered garden beds, also kerbed. The memorial is flanked by two war trophies and a flagstaff is located on the south western side.

The memorial is mainly of coarse Ulam marble and comprises a pedestal surmounted by an obelisk and a digger statue.

It sits on a marble base comprising two shallow steps and a third, deeper one, all smooth-faced. The foundation stone is located on the front face of the top step.

Surmounting the base is the pedestal. It sits on a marble step which has square projections at each corner. These each form a base for free-standing columns of red polished granite with marble Doric Order capitals and bases. The columns support a large cornice which is surmounted by four marble corner urns. In the centre of the columns are recessed marble plates, the leaded names of the 374 local men who served in the First World War. The names of the 69 dead are located on the north east face and the rear face is reserved for the names of nurses and chaplains.

Projecting from the centre of the pedestal is the marble obelisk, approximately 20 feet high and slightly tapered. It has stop chamfers to each corner and stands on a marble base with cyma recta mouldings. It is capped by a marble Ionic order capital and has a wreath carved around the leaded dates of the war on the lower section of the front face.

Surmounting the obelisk is the digger statue, which is slightly smaller than life-sized. The soldier is standing at ease with his head bowed and his hands resting on his reversed rifle, which rests by his right foot and is held by his body. A tree stump is located behind the left leg for support. (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
  • Gulf War, 1990–1991
  • Somalia, 1992–1994
  • Peacekeeping, 1947–present
Memorial type
Cenotaph/shrine
Commemorative services held

ANZAC Day 25 April - Dawn Service assemble on High Street at 4.20am; step off 4.22am, service commences 4.28am at the War Memorial, Yeates Avenue. Gunfire breakfast at conclusion.
March: Main commemoration assemble Church Street 10.25am, step off 10.40am, service 11.00am at Memorial.

Contact: Boonah RSL Sub Branch, Geoff Whittet, Secretary: Ph:(07) 54632042, or email: tanky@iinet.net.au

Additional information

The Boonah War Memorial is a major regional war memorial and was unveiled on 31 July 1920 by the Prince of Wales who was visiting with Mrs G A Bell of nearby Coochin Coochin Station (whose three sons served in the First World War). The marble and granite memorial was designed and executed by F Williams and Company and honours the 374 local men who served during the First World War, including the 69 dead.

On 19 May 1920,the foundation stone for the memorial was laid by General Sir W Birdwood. The monument was erected at a cost of £600 which was raised by public subscriptions organised by a memorial committee. The specifically designed memorial park was opened on Anzac Day in 1922 with the unveiling of the fence by war hero and politician Captain Arnold Weinholt.

The Boonah memorial was designed and executed by well known and highly regarded Ipswich masonry firm, F Williams and Company.

The digger statue on the Boonah Memorial is represented in the casual stance synonymous with Williams diggers.
(Source: Queensland Cultural Heritage Register)

Recorded by
Shirley and Trevor McIvor/Graham Andrews, Scenic Rim Regional Council/Geoff Whittet, Secretary, Boonah RSL Sub Branch.
Date recorded
19 March 2009

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