Colonel George GawlerPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Paul Scott

The stained glass window commemorates Colonel George Gawler (1795 - 1869) after whom the town is named.

The window containing Colonel Gawler`s Coat of Arms was originally unveiled at the opening of the church in 1864 and paid for by a shilling subscription from the congregation and friends of the church. The inscription appears to have been added after his death in 1869. The window was restored in 1999. 

Colonel Gawler, the 2nd Governor of South Australia was born in the year 1796, and educated at the Military College, Great Marlow. Colonel Gawler joined the 52nd Light Infantry in November 1811, and served to the end of the Peninsular war in 1814. He led the forlorn hope at the storming of Badajoz, was struck by a grape shot in the right knee and fell from the parapet into the ditch below, where he lay all night, but was rescued by a private of his regiment, who had his own head shot off whilst he was in the act of serving his officer. Colonel Gawler commanded the right company of the 52nd Regiment at Waterloo when he was under 20 years of age, and received the war medal with seven clasps. He was appointed Governor of South Australia in 1838, and arrived in the Colony on October 12th of that year. He had great difficulties to contend with, but his administration, though it was at the time condemned by many, was wiser and more far-seeing than it was then thought to be. He was recalled to England in 1841 and died May, 1869, at Southsea, aged 73.

The town of Gawler was named after George Gawler. Portraits hang in the Council Chamber and also in the Reading Room of Gawler Public Library. The name of Gawler’s Anglican Church, St. George’s, was chosen to honour Governor Gawler; his mother was present at the laying of the foundation stone of the first church in 1847. Colonel and Mrs Gawler made several gifts to the church including a silver communion service.  He was a supporter of Gawler Institute, and gave a donation of books worth £25.

We have seen the fine window erected in this handsome church to the memory of the gallant officer. It is a just and fitting tribute in the town which bears for ever his honored name. The window contains the Colonel's coat-of-arms, with crest and motto. The inscription lately placed beneath records the chief marks of his life, as the brave soldier, Governor, and Christian. It is as follows:— "In Memoriam Colonel George Gawler, K.H., 52nd Regt., Peninsula, Waterloo, 2nd Governor of South Australia. Obit., 7th May, 1869. Faithful to Christ and Sovereign."  Perhaps we ought to add that the window was fitted in the church by the free will offerings of many of the people in Gawler.
Bunyip (Gawler), 28th November 1879.


Address:Cowan Street, St George`s Anglican Church, Gawler, 5118
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.59681
Long: 138.743803
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Window
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 27th March, 1864
Front Inscription

Sans Gauler Point De Fruit

In Memoriam 

Colonel George Gawler, K.H., 52nd Regt., Peninsula, Waterloo

2nd Governor of South Australia.

Obit., 7th May, 1869.

Faithful to Christ and Sovereign


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