Friday, March 09, 2007

Postcards From Brisbane - The Boer War Memorial

My office building overlooks Anzac Square in the heart of Brisbane city. Thousands of people walk through Anzac Square every morning and afternoon on their way to and from Central Station. At the entrance to the park stands a monument, composed of a sandstone plinth atop which stands a huge bronze sculpture of a horse and rider. This is the memorial to the Queenslanders who died in the Boer War. I popped out from work the other morning and took the following photos.

The Boer War (also called the South African War or the Second Anglo-Boer War) was fought in South Africa in 1899 - 1902. As part of the British Empire, the Australian colonies offered troops for the war. At least 12,000 Australians served in contingents raised by the six colonies (or from 1901) by the new Australian Commonwealth.

The Boer War was the first war in which Australians fought under their own flag, as Australia became a country in its own right with Federation on 1 January 1901. The Australian War Memorial lists 598 Australians as having died in the war, about half in action and half from disease. On either side of the sandstone plinth are listed the names of those Australians from the state of Queensland who fell in this war.

The Boer War statue was cast in bronze in England, but wasn’t actually erected in Brisbane until 1919. As Anzac Square had not been constructed at that time, the memorial had stood in front of the Trades Hall. The statue was transferred to Anzac Square prior to Anzac Day in 1939.

The image below is taken from Post Office square with the trees of Anzac Square serving as a backdrop. The sun popped out from behind the clouds as I took the photo.

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