Sandgate’s war memorial resembles Lutyens’ Cenotaph in Whitehall, the site of Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in London since 1919. Governor Sir Matthew Nathan unveiled Sandgate’s 91 tonne granite and concrete memorial on 24 February 1924.
Of the 330, mostly young, Sandgate men who went to war, 51 died. Australia-wide, about one in five of the 300,000 volunteer soldiers died in WWI.
War memorials were a matter of local pride, indicating a district’s patriotism and wealth.
Sandgate Mayor WH Bowser not only presided over the memorial’s organising committee which commissioned prominent Queensland architect George Gray Prentice to design the £850 monument, but also donated much of the granite from his Samford quarry.
Charles Lowther, of the masonry firm Lowther and Sons that built the cenotaph within a small island of parkland, was a returned soldier: he’d served in the Light Horse in Palestine during WWI.
The memorial bears a verse- They died, and yet in memory shall they live, That we may know the worth of sacrifice, Know that their death is freedom’s cause, Stands as a beacon light to point the way, To paths of peace.
Names of Sandgate residents killed in WWII, Malaya, Korea and Vietnam have been added.
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