Fleurine Andrews’ three sons died fighting in France in WWI. Their memory lives on in an unusual soldier statue in a small country cemetery, 13 kilometres south-west of Gatton.
Mrs Andrews commissioned monumental masons AL Petrie and Son to produce the memorial, erected in the St Stephen’s Anglican Church cemetery at Ma Ma Creek in 1920.
The soldier statue, a popular choice of tribute in Queensland communities, embodies qualities of the ideal Australian: loyalty, youth, courage, innocence and masculinity. This one is a rarity, the only surviving ‘Digger’ wearing a cap instead of a slouch hat.
Private James Martin Andrews was killed on 5 August 1916, aged 26. Private George Henry Andrews died on 9 June 1917, aged 28. Private Bertie Reginald Andrews was killed on 10 June 1918, aged 20.
The war memorial stands behind the Andrews family plot and is the focus of public ANZAC Day memorial services.
Mrs Andrews also donated a church organ in her sons’ memory.
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