Boer War Memorial Gates Print Page
Memorial gates commemorate the men of the Queensland Mounted Infantry who fought in the Boer War. Australian writer, Banjo Paterson, wrote the poem on the gates when he was a war correspondent in South Africa in 1900.
The gates were part of the Toowomba Gaol which became the Austral Memorial Hall which was dedicated in memory of Queensland soldiers from the Darling Downs who had fallen in the Boer War. The first sod for the foundation pillars for the hall was turned by General Hutton on the 20th September 1904.
The Brisbane Courier, 21st September 1904.
Around 16,000 Australians volunteered to fight for Britain against the Dutch-Afrikaner, or Boer, settlers in South Africa from 1899 to 1902. It remains Australia's third-worst conflict in terms of casualties. When the Boer War broke out in 1899, Australia was made up of six colonies that were on the verge of becoming a federation. The war was seen as an opportunity for Australia to show its commitment to Britain and to define its identity.
|Address:||Margaret Street, Memorial Gardens, East Toowoomba, 4350|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -27.562061|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||11-October-1899|
|Actual Event End Date:||31-May-1902|
QUEENSLAND MOUNTED INFANTRY
There's a very well-built fellow, with a swinging sort of stride,
About as handy sort as I have seen.
A rough and tumble fellow that is born to fight and ride
And he's over there a- fighting for the Queen.
He's Queensland Mounted Infantry - compounded 'orse and foot
He'll climb a cliff or gallop down a flat.
He's Cavalry to travel, but he's Infantry to shoot,
And you'll know him by the feathers in his hat!
Banjo Paterson 1900
THE BOER WAR MEMORIAL
THE BRICKS IN THIS WALL WERE HAND-MADE IN QUEENS PARK IN 1862-64 TO BUILD THE WALLS OF TOOWOOMBA GAOL. IN 1904, THE GAOL WAS CLOSED. THE GAOL ENCLOSURE WAS PURCHASED BY THE AUSTRAL SOCIETY , AND PART OF THE SPACE WAS ROOFED OVER , TO BECOME THE AUSTRAL MEMORIAL HALL. AT THAT TIME THE LARGEST CONCERT HALL IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE. THE HALL WAS DEDICATED ON SEPTEMBER 20 1904, BY MAJOR -GENERAL SIR EDWARD HUTTON, K.C.M.G., C.R., COMMANDER- IN-CHIEF OF THE COMMONWEALTH FORCES, TO BE A MEMORIAL TO THE MEN FROM TOOWOOMBA AND DISTRICT WHO SERVED IN THE BOER WAR. THE HALL WAS A VENUE FOR CONCERTS ATTRACTING AUDIENCES OF UP TO 8,000 PEOPLE IN THE YEARS 1904-1910. DUE TO THE AUSTRAL SOCIETY'S FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES, THE HALL WAS SOLD AND DEMOLISHED ABOUT 1917.
ALL THAT REMAINED WAS A FRAGMENT OF THE GREAT WALLS AND IT WAS FROM THIS REMNANT THAT THESE BRICKS WERE RECOVERED. THEY WERE PART OF TOOWOOMBA'S ORIGINAL MEMORIAL TO ITS BOER WAR TROOPERS, AND ARE RE-ERECTED HERE TO HONOUR THE MEN OF THE QUEENSLAND MOUNTED INFANTRY , "SOLDIERS OF THE QUEEN" - WHO WENT TO WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA IN THE YEARS 1899 - 1901.