Annie WhitelawPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Linda Barraclough

The tombstone erected over the grave commemorates Mrs Annie Whitelaw who lost four of her six sons in World War One. The tombstone was erected to pay tribute to a mother's sacrifice.

Annie Whitelaw was the mother of six sons all of whom enlisted in World War One. Three of her sons were killed in action and one later died at home of wounds he received in action overseas.

There is a perception that the Briagolong community, sensitive to her loss and conscious of her feelings, installed a roller blind above the Honour Roll in the Mechanics Institute, which could be drawn down whenever Annie visited the Institute, sparing her the distress of her loss.   

When Linda Barraclough was researching the history of the Insitute with Dorothy Watt in the 1990's, an explanation provided by one person who thought there may have been a blind installed so Annie did not have to see the roll. She is known to have watched ANZAC Day parades from a distance, sitting in her buggy and crying, unable to bear attending them.

So whether the blinds on the honour roll were installed for her is problematic, but it is still the best and only explanation there is.

An invitation is extended to the public to attend the unveiling of a tombstone erected to the memory of the late Mrs. Whitelaw, of Briagolong, whose six sons served in the Great War four of whom paid the supreme sacrifice. Hon. Donald Mackinnon has kindly consented to perform the ceremony. Hon. G. H. Wise. (late Acting Minister for Defence) Hon. G.M. Davis and Mr. M'lachlan have been asked to assist. Throughout the country monuments have been dedicated to our soldiers, but little has been done to recognise the great sacrifice and splendid contribution to the Nation's cause by the Mothers of the soldiers, and it is felt that it is but right that this good woman should be so honored. At the same time the public do not feel any the less toward the thousands of other mothers who have given so much. The ceremony will take place at the Briagolong Cemetery at 3 p.m. on Sunday next.
Gippsland Times (Vic.), 18 August 1927.


Address:Cemetery Road, Cemetery, Briagolong, 3860
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.856569
Long: 147.090039
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 21st August, 1927
Front Inscription

In grateful remembrance of Annie Whitelaw

Died 5th April 1927
Aged 64 years

The mother of six sons who served in the Great War 1914-1919

Four of whom Bob, Ken, Ivan and Angus
paid the supreme sacrifice

"Happy is she who can die with the thought that in the hour of her country`s greatest need she gave her utmost."  (Conan Doyle)

Erected by the Maffra Repatriation Com.

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