Linville War Memorial
This one-off design of war memorial in Queensland features a rare German maxim machine gun war trophy set on a concrete cube with a stepped base. Above is a brass plaque, badly weathered, listing 24 names for World War I, and 8 names for World War II. On the plaque is a soldier walking forward with rifle and bayonet. Four corner pillars support a tiled roof and keep most of the weather off the gun. The base of the memorial is a painted concrete slab set on inlaid stones, and the whole is surrounded by a low concrete edging to garden beds. The whole is surrounded by a pipe and chain fence.
- Conflicts commemorated
- First World War, 1914–1918
- Second World War, 1939–1945
- Memorial type
- Commemorative services held
ANZAC Day, 25 April
- Additional information
The Linville War Memorial is a small timber structure with a terracotta-tiled roof, prominently located in road reserve adjacent to the railway reserve, opposite the store, hotel and Progress Hall. It was designed by Linville photographer, cartoonist, artist and World War I veteran, Tom Cross, and constructed in the early 1920s by his brothers Frank and Jim, with materials donated by the community. The memorial commemorates all local volunteers who served in World War I including eight young men from Linville who did not return.
Ben and Tom Cross joined the services in 1915. During the war years, Tom became well known for his cartoons and drawings depicting life aboard the troop ships, training in Egypt and scenes of the battlefields of France and Belgium. Some were reproduced as postcards, and he reportedly sold six thousand of these. Others were published in Punch magazine. Many are now held by the Australian War Memorial. Tom suffered from 'trench feet', a form of frost bite, which was to plague him for years after he returned home in 1919. Ben gave his life in the service of his country.
It would seem that the memorial was not completed for ANZAC Day in 1921 as a newspaper article indicates that Linville residents attended the unveiling of Toogoolawah's machine gun trophy on Sunday 24 April 1921.
In May 1921, the Linville community was allocated a war trophy. The collection of war trophies was coordinated through the Australian War Records Section and was initially carried out in accordance with the British War Office regulations. The British government assumed it would select the best trophies for the British National War Museum, but the Australian Government objected, insisting that the trophies claimed by their troops should be made available to them. In 1919 it was decided that the Australian War Museum (later the Australian War Memorial) should retain the larger trophies and the smaller ones be distributed to Australian towns according to the size and population of the town. Small towns with a population of between 300 and 3,000, such as Linville, were allocated a machine gun. Consideration was given to allocating trophies captured by units raised in a particular area. Linville was allocated a German machine gun captured in April 1918 by the 9th Battalion to which 5 local men had been attached.
The procurement of a war trophy may have expedited the process of building the Linville memorial, because the Queensland State War Trophy Committee specified that a war trophy was to be an integral part of the local memorial. The design of a memorial became contentious also, with New South Wales establishing a War Memorials Advisory Board attempting to influence the design process to stem the tide of 'inartistic' memorials being erected. While Queensland did not regulate design and construction, the Queensland Institute of Architects regretted the 'deplorable artistic character of many war memorials recently erected in Queensland'. The design for the Linville War Memorial, prepared by local artist Tom Cross, would have adequately appeased this desire for quality public memorial design.
The memorial remains in its original location in the centre of Linville. Repair work to the memorial was commissioned by Somerset Regional Council in 2008.
(Source: Queensland Cultural Heritage Register)
- Recorded by
- Shirley and Trevor McIvor/Kate Dohle
- Date recorded
- 31 March 2009
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