Gympie and Widgee War Memorial Gates

Location of Gympie and Widgee War Memorial Gates

Memorial Park, Mary St - 171km north of Brisbane (Bruce Highway)
Gympie QLD 4570

The First World War Memorial Gates are situated in Mary Street, Gympie. They are located at the entrance to a block of land which stretches from Mary Street to Reef Street. The Gates comprise two large and two small sandstone pillars with wrought iron swing gates and a wrought iron ornamental arch supporting a central lantern. An identical set of the smaller pillars are located in the walkway behind, also with an ornamental arch and lantern.

The inner pair of pillars on the main gate are larger than the outer pair, however all four pillars have the same basic structure with differences in detailing.

All pillars sit on a substantial plinth capped by a torus moulding. From this rises a shaft of banded sandstone which culminates in a stepped element. The entire front face of the pillar projects slightly forward. The front faces of the pillars bear sandstone plaques to he conflicts commemorated. The inner pillars are the same standard design as the outer pillars, but at a larger scale. They are surmounted by large urns, draped with swags. The front faces display marble plaques with leaded names of the local Fallen Heroes from the Boer and First World Wars. Above each plate are relief carved laurel wreaths with drapery behind. At the foot of the western pillar is a marble plaque with an inscription to the memory of the fallen.

Green painted wrought iron swing gates allow vehicular traffic between the inner pillars and pedestrian traffic between these and the outer pillars. The gates have central arches at the top and simple decorative elements. Connecting the two inner pillars is an ornamental archway comprising scrollwork and scalloping and two flat plates. On one plate is the word Gympie, while on the other is the word Widgee. A decorative lantern is located at the centrepoint of the arch.

Located behind the main gates is a second set of pillars, similar in design to the main outer pillars. The front faces bear marble plaques with the leaded names of the locals men who served in the Vietnam and Second World Wars. They are joined by the same decorative arch as the front pillars and have the words Lest We Forget on the flat plates. A lantern also hangs from the centre point.

Inscription

Refer to additional images

Conflicts commemorated
  • South Africa War, 1899–1902
  • First World War, 1914–1918
  • Second World War, 1939–1945
  • Vietnam War, 1962–1972
Memorial type
Gate/arch
Additional information

The Gympie War Memorial were unveiled in 1920 by the Prince of Wales. The gates were designed by George Rae, of Brisbane. Monumental masonry firm A L Petrie and Son of Toowong undertook the stonework whilst an unknown local blacksmith produced the ironwork. The memorial honours the 167 local men who fell in the First World War and the two who fell in the Boer War.

In 1919 the Queensland Institute of Architects held a design competition for a memorial on behalf of the Gympie and Widgee District Soldiers' Memorial Fund. George Rae, then a young draftsman in the Brisbane office of Lange Powell won the competition. He also won the competition for the design of the memorial at Toowong, Brisbane.

The masons, A L Petrie and Son were the largest monumental masonry firm in Queensland at this time and were responsible for many First World War memorials throughout the state.

The cost for the gates was 800 and although the memorial was for the whole of the Widgee Shire, the funds were raised primarily by public subscription and the Gympie City Council.

Recorded by
Shirley and Trevor McIvor
Date recorded
6 March 2009

Nearby memorials