Bundaberg’s Memorials

Bundaberg War Memorial

Bundaberg War Memorial. Image Source: SLQ.

Bundaberg, like other regional centers in Queensland, has a number of First World War Memorials. The most significant is the memorial located at the intersection of Bourbong and Barolin Streets, right in the centre of town. Erected in 1921, this imposing memorial is still in the same location as it was when it was first built and proudly displays the names of the fallen soldiers from the district.

Names inscribed on the Bundaberg War Memorial. Image source: SLQ

Names inscribed on the Bundaberg War Memorial. Image source: SLQ.

Bundaberg Regional Libraries has created its Remembrance and Honour Historypin project to document the Bundaberg Region’s Legacy of the Great War. The collection contains a number of images of, and a digital story about, the Bundaberg War Memorial.

At the Bargara foreshore parkland is a new memorial which was dedicated in April 2015.

Bargara foreshore parkland war memorial. Image source: SLQ.

Bargara foreshore parkland war memorial. Image source: SLQ.

The Queensland Heritage Register lists 61 memorials within postcode 4670 which includes a number of Honour Rolls located in the district.

The Bundaberg and District Historical & Museum Society houses the Invicta Mill Honour Roll which remembers the workers at the mill who served in the First World War. The Invicta sugar mill, located in the Kolan River District, crushed sugar cane from 1895 until 1918.

Invicta Roll of Honour: Image Source SLQ.

Invicta Roll of Honour: Image Source SLQ.

Also on display at the Bundaberg Museum is a number of items pertaining to the Wide Bay and Burnett’s Fifth Light Horse Regiment – a regimental badge and buttons plus a regimental badge for marksmanship.

Fifth Light Horse Regiment items. Image source: SLQ

Fifth Light Horse Regiment items. Image source: SLQ

The Fifth Light Horse Regiment is a Queensland regiment which arrived in Egypt in February 1915. The men saw action in Gallipoli where they were deployed without their horses to reinforce the infantry. Later the Fifth undertook long-range patrolling across the Sinai Desert. After the First World War the military forces were reorganised with the regiment being raised from the Wide Bay-Burnett area.

Opposite the Bundaberg Hospital is the War Nurses Memorial Park which includes several memorials to the nurses who served in a number of conflicts. The 2016 addition to this park is the set of 4 storyboards which commemorates the story of the region’s nurses and were created by Bundaberg & District Ex Servicewomen’s Association.

Nurses memorial storyboards. Image source: SLQ.

Nurses memorial storyboards. Image source: SLQ.

The Foundation Stone of the Returned Soldiers Memorial Baths now called Anzac Park Olympic Pool in Bundaberg was laid by Miss Ethel Campbell. Known as the Angel of Durban, Ethel “was loved and revered by Australian troops during the First World War”. Another blog post tells more of Ethel’s story.

Foundation Stone of the Returned Soldiers Memorial Baths. Image source: SLQ.

Foundation Stone of the Returned Soldiers Memorial Baths. Image source: SLQ.

Ethel was welcomed to Bundaberg by the residents “in hundreds”, the Caledonian Pipe Band played and there were speeches of welcome and thanks. The following day, amongst her official duties, Ethel laid the foundation stone of the opened the memorial baths.

Bundaberg Mail Sat 25 August 1923 p 5

Bundaberg Mail Sat 25 August 1923 p 5

Further reading

Niles Elvery, Regional Coordinator, Q ANZAC 100, State Library of Queensland