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David John Willis Memorial : 30-05-2013
David John Willis Memorial : 30-05-2013

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

Memorial erected by the residents of the district to David John Willis who was killed in battle at Elandskop during the South African (Boer) War. The memorial was originally erected as a drinking fountain. 

Great preparations are being made for the unveiling tomorrow afternoon (Sunday), of the drinking fountain erected in the village green at Beecroft as a means of perpetuating the memory of the late Private Dave Willis, who fell fighting for his Queen and country in South Africa. The member of F Company (Hornsby) the Australian Rifles, have received notice to attend the function in review order. A military band will also be present, and it is anticipated there will be a large gathering of district residents.
The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate
(Parramatta, NSW) 23 November 1901. 

The subject of our illustration is one of many fine pieces of sculpture work turned out at the establishment of Mr. Frank Smith, of Rookwood,  who has been entrusted with several memorial tablets, and has executed some very pretty designs since the war in South Africa began. This monument was subscribed to by residents of Beecroft, Pennant Hills, Thornleigh, Epping, Marsfield and Ryde, and was unveiled on Sunday, November 24, 1901, on the Village Green at Beecroft. The fountain was unveiled by the member for Ryde in the State Parliament of New South Wales, Mr. Frank Farnell.
The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate
(Parramatta), 14th December 1901.



Address:Copeland & Beecroft Roads, Community Centre, Beecroft, 2119
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.75104
Long: 151.065606
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:01 -October-1900
Actual Event End Date:01-October-1900


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 24th November, 1901
Front Inscription

Erected By
Residents Of The District
In Memory Of
Killed In Battle At Elandskop
South Africa. October 10 1900
Aged 20 years.

(Additional plaque)

David John Willis lived in Beecroft before he volunteered to serve in South Africa during the Boer War (1899-1902). He trained with the 6th Australian Rifles Regiment at Hornsby before he left for South Africa on 3 November 1899 with the NSW infantry. David John Willis was killed in a skirmish on 1 October 1900 at Elands Kop near Heilbron, one day short of his twentieth birthday.

This memorial was originally erected on the Village Green and unveiled on 24 November 1901 by the Beecroft community to commemorate the life of David Willis and to impress upon the local citizens, especially young people, the importance of duty and discipline.  The memorial was later moved from the Village Green and during repairs the date of David Willis’ death was incorrectly recorded as 10 October 1900.

To mark the centenary of the death of David Willis this plaque records the conservation of the memorial, funded and supported by Hornsby Shire Council and Beecroft-Cheltenham Civic Trust.

Source: MA,H,NRWM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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