Lieutenant P. W. C. DragePrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Russell Byers / John Huth

A marble tablet commemorates Lieutenant P. W. C. Drage of the New South Wales Mounted Infantry who was killed at Diamond Hill, South Africa during the Boer War.

There was a very large gathering of military men and others at St James' Church, King-street, on Sunday afternoon, when the "memorial tablet," which has recently been erected in the church to the memory of the late Lieutenant Drage was unveiled. The tablet, which is oblong in shape, is composed of white marble, with black marble background, and bears the following inscription, " Sacred to the memory of Lieutenant P. W. C. Drage, New South Wales Mounted Infantry (late of the New South Wales Engineers Staff), Killed in action at Diamond Hill, South Africa, June 12, 1900.  This tablet is erected by his comrades of the New South Wales Engineers Staff. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." Amongst those present were the Hon F. B. Suttor, M.L.C (Vice-President of the Legislative Council), who performed the ceremony. The service was conducted by the Rev W. R. Mounsey, and opened with the processional hymn, " Onward, Christian Soldiers."  The lessons were read by the Rev S. Marston, and the Rev Willoughby Flower, M.A.

The Hon. F B Suttor, M.L.C., in performing the unveiling ceremony, said they were present to show the respect they had for the late Lieutenant Drage, and with mixed feelings of sadness and satisfaction. During the last year the departed soldier left Australia full of hope and courage to fight for his Queen and country, and it was to them sad to think that his body now lay beneath the " kopje " where he fought so well. The late Lieutenant Drago joined the force as a non-commissioned officer (and he, the speaker, was proud to know that in New South Wales opportunity was afforded for men to rise in the ranks). The late lieutenant and two of his brothers had fought and died for their Queen and country, and for the freedom of the Empire of South Africa. They were proud of the name that the Australians had made for themselves at the front. Lord Roberts had said of them that they fought nobly in the field, and off it they behaved as gentlemen. Lord Kitchener, Colonel De Lísle, General French, and others had also eulogised the services of the Australians most highly. He was glad to think that the late Lieutenant Drage was so highly thought of by his comrades as to have his name kept green by the erection of the tablet, which he had much pleasure in unveiling and handing over to the church and trust. The Rev W. I. Carr-Smith (vicar of the parish) said he would accept the tablet on behalf of the officers of the church and trust. It would be preserved by them along with the others which were in the church, and which included those of Governors, explorers, and those who had done much for the advancement of the country. During the offertory the choir sang the anthem "Blessed are the Departed. " Mr Arthur Mason presided at the organ throughout the service, which concluded with the benediction. 
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 15 April 1901.


Address:173 King Street, St. James Anglican Church, North Wall No 76, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.869486
Long: 151.211172
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:12-June-1900
Actual Event End Date:12-June-1900


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 14th April, 1901
Front Inscription

To The Memory Of
N.S.W. Mounted Infantry
(Late Of The
N.S.W. Engineer Staff.)
Killed In Action At
Diamond Hill, Sth Africa,
12th June 1900.

This Tablet Is Erected
By His Comrades Of The
N.S.W. Engineer Staff.

Dulce et decorum est pro
patria mori.

Source: MA,SJ,H
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