Lieutenant Gideon James GrievePrint Page
Obelisk outside the Scots Church commemorates Lieutenant Gideon James Grieve.
Lieutenant G. J. Grieve was a Scot who emigrated to Sydney and rose through the ranks of the New South Wales Scottish Rifles to become its adjutant. He volunteered for the Boer War (1899 – 1902) and was killed-in-action at the battle of Paardeberg, while on secondment to the 2nd Battalion, The Black Watch, as a company commander on 18 February 1900.
Grieve led his company in the Battle of Koodesberg displaying conspicuous gallantry and skill as a leader. Subsequently, during the operations for the relief of Kimberley and the attack on Cronje’s Laager at Paadeberg Drift on 18 February 1900, he was killed-in-action while attempting to save one of his wounded soldiers. His actions were described by a brother officer as displaying “the most magnificent bravery”.
As a mark of the high regard in which Lieutenant Grieve was held in Sydney that two memorials were erected to his memory in 1900. The first was the handsome Grieve memorial drinking fountain on the cliff at Watson’s Bay, which originally bore a figure of Lieutenant Grieve in highland dress uniform. Sadly, the statue was destroyed by vandals many years ago. The second was the splendid obelisk, recently restored, at the corner of York and Jamison Streets in Sydney, opposite Scots Church.
Fitly placed in the Scottish Church are two fine memorials to those gallant men of the Scottish Rifles who fell in Africa in defence of the Empire. One of them is a tablet of polished red Gabo Island granite, inscribed, with the names of Lieutenant James Gideon Grieve, Lieutenant Keith Kinnaird McKellar, Corporal S. McLellan, and Private S. C. Atchison. The other is an obelisk of red granite on a base of brown stone, having a total height of 16ft., the outcome or a special memorial service held in the Town Hall in March last, when first the sad news of Lieutenant Grieve's death was received. That collection amounted to £65 8s 2d, but part of the sum was devoted to sending a simple white marble cross to be placed over his grave at Paardeburg. And as the balance is insufficient to cover the entire cost of the obelisk it is hoped that his friends who have not so far contributed will make up the deficiency. The unveiling of the memorials was performed yesterday afternoon by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Frederick Darley, who spoke eloquently of the services of the deceased soldiers, and of the career of the late Lieutenant Grieve, who was undoubtedly a model soldier, both in hard and heavy work of organisation required in a purely defensive corps in time of peace and in the dreadful stress of war. He was a model citizen, too, and many a man of iron nerve in ordinary affairs softened to sorrow when the news came of his death, almost in the very moment of his promotion to the rank of captain. Among those present at the unveiling of the memorials were General and Miss French, Colonel Campbell, and many of the leaders of the Scottish Church. A detachment of the Imperial Scottish troops, the Sydney Scottish Rifles, the Australian Rifles, and the Irish Rifles attended the service and an address was delivered by the Rev. Dill Macky.
Australian Star (Sydney), 7 January 1901.
|Address:||Jamison & York Streets, outside Scots Church Building, Sydney, 2000|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -33.864378|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||18-February-1900|
|Actual Event End Date:||18-February-1900|
In Memory Of
GIDEON JAMES GRIEVE
N.S.W. PERMANENT STAFF
FORMERLY 1ST LIEUT. 5TH REGT SCOTTISH
RIFLES AND STAFF ADJT 6TH REGT AUSTRALIAN
SAILED IN OCT. 1899 FOR S.AFRICA AS A
SPECIAL SERVICE OFFICER, THERE ATTACHED TO
2ND "BLACK WATCH" AND WITH IT TOOK PART IN
THE BATTLE OF " KOODOOSBERG " WITH
CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY AND SKILL AS A
LEADER - THE OPERATIONS FOR THE RELIEF OF
KIMBERLEY - AND THE ATTACK ON CRONJE'S
LAAGER AT PAARDEBERG FE. 18 1900.
WHERE AFTER SHEWING - AS DESCRIBED BY
A BROTHER OFFICER - " MOST MAGNIFICENT
BRAVERY " HE FELL IN THE FORE FRONT
BY HIS UNTIMELY DEATH, N.S.W. HAS LOST A MOST
ABLE AND GALLANT OFFICER, AND HIS WIDOW AND
CHILDREN A DEVOTED HUSBAND AND FATHER.