South African (Boer) War MemorialPrint Page Print this page

Boer War Memorial : 16-July-2012
Boer War Memorial : 16-July-2012

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders / Tim Fitzgerald / Sandra Brown

The monument was originally erected by public subscription to commemorate Private Willie Aitken of the Thorneycroft Mounted Infantry who was the first soldier from the District to die in the South African War.

The monument was originally in the form of a drinking fountain surmounted by an electric street lamp. The marble tablets commemorating those who served in the South African War and W. J. Creelman were added to the memorial at a later date.

The handsome memorial, that has been erected by public subscription, to the memory of the late Private Willie Aitken, of Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry, and a native of Heathcote, who was killed in action at the battle of Colenso, South Africa, was unveiled yesterday, in the presence of a large concourse of people, the unveiling ceremony being performed by the Rev. G. N. MacDonnell, chaplain to the Fifth Victorian Contingent.

Com. W. E. Lewis (chairman of the Waterworks Trust) said he had much pleasure in being present. He could bear testimony to the good character of Willie Aitken, whom he had known from a child, and of whom he had special opportunities of observing all the time he was learning his business. This district had sent its quota of men to the war, and they had men present who had shared the same dangers as their late friend. The late Willie Creelman, who was a native of this district, also went to the war. He did not go under by a bullet, but he went under with enteric fever. He thought it would only be right to have his name also inscribed on the memorial. As Private Aitken was the first soldier from the district killed in the war it was right that they should erect a memorial in his honor, which was also an ornament to the town.

The memorial, a description of which has previously appeared in our columns, is in the form of a drinking fountain, surmounted by a handsome lamp, and is constructed of solid Malmsbury granite. It was designed, manufactured and erected by Messrs. J. B. Wilson and Co., under the supervision of the shire engineer (Mr H. D.Thomas).
The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic.), 27 November 1902.


Address:125 High Street, Outside Civic Offices, Heathcote, 3523
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.923092
Long: 144.709517
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:11-October-1899
Actual Event End Date:31-May-1902
Monument Manufacturer:Wilson & Co


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 26th November, 1902
Front Inscription

In memory of all those who served and fell.

Lest We Forget


Left Side Inscription

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

Back Inscription

Erected by the public of Heathcote and District

To the memory of Private William Aitken of Thorneycroft`s Mounted Infantry who was killed in action at the Battle of Colenso, South Africa on the 15th December 1899.

"Enough ! " they murmur o`er my tomb,
"He like a soldier fell."


Right Side Inscription

In memory of W. J. Creelman of Costerfield

Corporal Australian Imperial Regiment

Died of Enteric Fever at Enkledoorn S. Africa

17th Sept. 1900

Aged 33 years


Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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