William LandsboroughPrint Page Print this page

William Landsborough Memorial
William Landsborough Memorial

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

The monument. erected over the grave, commemorates explorer William Landsborough. The remains were re-interred in the Toowong Cemetery in 1913. 

In 1861 Landsborough was chosen by the Victorian and Queensland governments to lead a search for Burke and Wills from the Gulf of Carpentaria southwards. In August the party left Brisbane in the brig Firefly, escorted by H.M.S. Victoria. A depot was formed on the Albert River at the site of Burketown and in November the party of 8, including 4 Aboriginals, and 25 horses started south. Landsborough followed the Gregory River and named the Barkly Tableland but near the site of Camooweal found desert with a network of dry channels.

Landsborough returned to the depot in January 1862. With supplies from the Victoria he led his men south. They encountered hostile Aboriginals on the Barcoo and on the Warrego their rations were reduced to boiled greenhide. On 21 May they reached Williams`s station and learned that Burke and Wills had perished. Landsborough continued his journey south and in October delivered the horses and gear to the authorities in Melbourne. He was feted as the first explorer to cross the continent from north to south.

The remains of the late Mr. William Landsborough, one of Queensland's early explorers,and one who performed invaluable work in opening pastoral up the lands of the State, were removed from Landsborough, and re-interred in the Toowong Cemetery yesterday morning. A black casket fitted with silver mountings, and bearing a silver plate with the two words, "William Landsborough," was taken from Brisbane by train to Landsborough, where the remain had lain since the 16th March,1886, in a practically unknown and certainly little honoured grave. This was brought back to Brisbane by boat and taken to Hislop's funeral parlour, in Peel-street, South Brisbane. From there a few of the explorer's old friends and representatives of various bodies followed the remains to the Toowong Cemetery, where it was re-interred. 
Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld) 14 June 1913. 

On May 4, 1928, the "Courier" published a letter from Mr. S. Thompson, drawing attention to the fact that the remains of Queensland's best-known explorer, William Landsborough, who died at Caloundra on March 16, 1886, were interred on his own property there, but later were removed and reinterred in Toowong Cemetery, but the grave was unmarked. On May 9 excerpts were published from a letter received from Mr. W. Campbell Thompson, who forwarded £1/1/ towards obtaining a fitting monument over the grave of the explorer, and the "Courier" announced that it would be pleased to receive and acknowledge any contributions to such a worthy movement.

Eventually £38/13/ was subscribed, and a monument was ordered from the works of A. L. Petrie, and now has been placed in position. It is a worthy memorial to the explorer, whose grave on a hill in the Toowong Cemetery is near those of many of Queensland's former prominent men and women. In the course of a letter to the editor, dated July 17 last, Mr. S. Thompson writes: "When I was informed by the daughter of the late William Landsborough that his grave was unmarked I promised her I would do what I could towards obtaining the erection of a suitable monument. I was fortunate in securing the aid of your valued publication, and the project was brought to a successful termination, thanks to your personal interest and the generous assistance given by the 'Courier."
The Brisbane Courier (Qld), 19 July 1929. 


Address:Frederick Street, Portion 12 Section 55 Grave 3, Toowong Cemetery, Toowong, 4066
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.4775
Long: 152.984444
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Designer:A. L. Petrie


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:July-1929
Front Inscription

In memory of William Landsborough
The explorer

Born at Stephenstone Manse Saltcoats, Scotland   
21st Feb 1825

Died at Caloundra 
18th March 1886

He traced several rivers of Queensland to their sources and crossed Australia from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Melbourne.

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design