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Springsure State School Memorial FountainPrint Page Print this page

1919 (State Library of Queensland)
1919 (State Library of Queensland)

Springsure State School Memorial Fountain was erected in honour of past scholars who enlisted in the Great War. The fountain lists over eighty names including Mrs Wheeler and Nurse Squires. 

The Memorial Fountain was unveiled Mrs H. G. Wheeler on the 6th December 1919. Mrs H. G. Wheeler, a former pupil of the school and whose name appears on the memorial, also performed the ceremony of turning on the fountain. Mrs Wheeler (nee Annie Laurie) had won great fame in the district for her untiring work on behalf of the soldiers and a presentation to her of an electroplated tea and coffee service by the Chairman of the Bauhinia Shire, Mr M.M. Kavanaugh, recognised these efforts.

The fountain is of Ulam marble on concrete base. The work was executed by Mr. F. M. Allan, monumental mason, Rockhampton. The cost of the fountain was £108 with most of the money funded by public subscription.
Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), 13th December 1919.

Annie Margaret Wheeler who unveiled the fountain, was a soldiers' welfare worker, and she was born on 10 December 1867 at Saunders Station, Dingo. She was educated at a Rockhampton convent school and In 1896 married Henry Gaudiano Wheeler of Cooroorah Station, near Blackwater. After his death in 1903 she once again made Rockhampton her home. In 1913 she took her only daughter, Portia, to England to complete her education. At the outbreak of war in 1914 Mrs Wheeler worked as a probationer nurse in a hospital in Sussex. Moving to London she endeavoured to contact all soldiers from Central Queensland. She kept a detailed card index on them, corresponded with servicemen on the battlefield, forwarded packages and mail, provided for their needs and supervised the care and comfort of those in hospital.

Mrs Wheeler became known as the 'Mother of the Queenslanders'. Families in Queensland sent letters and parcels through her and by 1918 over 2300 men were on her books. Each fortnight Mrs Wheeler sent home detailed letters which were published in the 'Capricornian' and the 'Morning Bulletin'. Early in 1918 Mrs Wheeler experienced poor health. The Commonwealth government provided a free passage for her return to Australia in November 1919. Rockhampton accorded her a hero's welcome; over 5000 people met her train and cheering soldiers towed her car through the streets to a public reception. Presented with a house at Emu Park, near Rockhampton, she lived there from 1921 to 1947 when she moved to Surfers Paradise. She died there on 23 October 1950

Location

Address:55 Eclipse Lane, Springsure State School, Springsure, 4722
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -24.115822
Long: 148.08859
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Fountain
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW1
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919
Monument Designer:F. M. Allen (Rockhampton,QLD )
Link:http://www.qldwarmemorials.com.au/P…

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 6th December, 1919
Source: MIV,SKP,QWMR, MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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