“THE SACRED SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE”
BRISBANE’S TRIBUTE TO ANZACS
THE large and reverent audience at the Exhibition Hall last evening [ 26 April 1926 ], when the customary civic commemoration of Anzac Day took place, was proof that spirit of the day loses nothing either in popularity or intensity as the years glide by.
The citizens’ tribute on this occasion was all the more notable because of the many Anzac services held on the actual day itself.
The large Exhibition Hall was decorated with the flags of the Allies and with bannerettes bearing the names of the most famous of the battlefields.
Besides the Mayor (Alderman W.A. Jolly) [ William Alfred Jolly ], who presided, there also were on the platform Mr. Lennon (Deputy-Governor) [ William Lennon ], the Mayoress (Mrs. Jolly) [ Lillie Maude Jolly, nee Moorhouse ], Mr. W. McCormack (Premier) [ William McCormack ], Commander Mutton (district naval officer) [ Edward Smith Mutton ], Mrs. Mutton [ Ellen Mary Mutton, nee Troy ], Major-General Foott, C.B., D.S.O. (military commandant) [ Cecil Henry Foott ], Archbishop Sharp [ Gerald Sharp ], Lieutenant-Colonel Durrant, C.M.G.. D.S.O. [ James Murdoch Archer Durrant ], Lieut.-Colonel Ridley [ John Cecil Thomas Edmund Charles Ridley ], Mrs. Ridley [ Muriel Jeanne Rae Ridley, nee Townshend ] , and the Rev. Canon Garland (secretary of the Anzac Day Committee) [ David John Garland ].
Amongst the audience were most of the aldermen and their wives, also many ex-servicemen, ex-aldermen, and ex-councillors of the old metropolitan local authority areas and prominent public servants and other well known citizens.
Apologies for absence were received from Brigadier-General Sir Harry Chauvel (Inspector-General of Forces) [ Henry (“Harry”) George Chauvel ], Lieut.-Colonel Cameron, M.P. [ Donald Charles Cameron ], who was addressing an Anzac meeting at Toowong, Archbishop Duhig [ James Vincent Duhig ], who was away from Brisbane, and from Mr. A.J. Thynne [ Andrew Joseph Thynne ], unwell.
The speeches were in keeping with the spirit of the occasion, and the musical programme, which included several appropriate hymns, in the singing of which the large audience heartily joined, contributed greatly to the devotional character of the proceedings.
THE MAYOR’S SPEECH.
The Mayor, who rose amidst hearty applause, said, “This meeting has been called for the purpose of enabling the citizens of Brisbane to publicly express their grateful remembrance of the Anzacs.
“On this, the eleventh anniversary of the day of Anzac, we recall with pride not only the great achievement of the landing at Gallipoli but the glorious record of the Australian troops on land and sea throughout the whole of the war.
“This is the first meeting held since the advent of the Greater Brisbane Council, and I am anxious that, not only should we hold a meeting in the city each year, but continue to hold meetings in the various districts as previously arranged by the local councils.
“Brisbane has every reason to be proud of the large army of its excellent sons who responded to the call of the Empire.
“I propose to have a list compiled of the names of the men who enlisted in the Greater Brisbane area, with a special list of the men who paid the Supreme Sacrifice.
“This record will be housed in the new City Hall, in a suitable and permanent manner.
“It should, for all time, be the city’s most honoured record. (Applause.)
“Australia cannot afford to forget the brave deeds of the men of Anzac. (Applause.)
“The account of the part the Australian soldiers, unaccustomed as they were to warfare, took in the Great War, sets forth a record of heroism, bravery and skill, unparalleled in the history of the world. (Applause.)
“Their deeds should forever be a living inspiration to all Australians— not that we wish to glorify war.
“The millions of graves should forever stand as a warning to all enlightened people, of the frightfulness of war; and it would indeed be a sad reflection on the civilised nations if this experience did not bring us nearer to a permanent peace.
“The Anzacs have left us a glorious heritage. They have made it possible for us to continue to live as a free and independent people.
“It is our duty to make this a country worthy of our noble dead. After all, what are the problems and difficulties that we have to contend with, compared with the trials, tribulations and sacrifices of our soldiers?
“If we, in the least degree, emulate the same spirit of service and self-sacrifice in our citizenship, then we can build up in this sunny land of Australia a new nation, the like of which the world has not yet seen. (Applause.)
“We deplore the fact that so many thousands of Australia’s brightest sons paid the Supreme Sacrifice; and our hearts go out in loving sympathy to those whose loved ones did not return.
“They, too, have shared in the nation’s great sacrifice. (Applause.)
“It is indeed gratifying, on this, the eleventh anniversary of Anzac Day, to note such large and reverent gatherings at the various services held throughout the city.” (Applause.)
Mr. McCormack moved the first resolution:—
THE FIRST RESOLUTION.
“On the eleventh anniversary of the immortal landing on Gallipoli, this meeting of citizens of Queensland expresses its unalterable loyalty to the Throne and Empire, and its admiration of the magnificent heroism, self-sacrifice, and endurance of the sailors and soldiers of Australia and New Zealand, who, on the first Anzac Day, and throughout the Great War, conferred a glory on Australia and New Zealand that will never fade.”
The Premier said they were met to honour the sacrifice and endurance of those soldiers who had participated in the Great War.
Anzac Day now was the commemoration day of those sacrifices and of that endurance, and especially, of the historic landing at Gallipoli.
Everyone must acknowledge that there should be one day sacred to the memory of those who had given their lives for their country, and of those who happily were spared to return. (Applause.)
Time was a great healer, and he did not doubt that those who had lost loved ones found their grief less poignant than on former anniversaries of that day.
The spirit of Anzac was shown in Australia to-day, and citizens of Brisbane assembled in that hall that evening could see clearly and distinctly how well deserved was the great praise that was bestowed upon the Australian soldier when he entered the Great War. (Applause.)
Many of these brave men left Australia with little or no military training, to meet the trained troops of nations with hundreds of years of military traditions behind them, and they proved themselves the equals, if not the superiors of, famous regiments. (Applause.)
The outstanding feature of the Australian soldier, despite his lack of training, and of discipline, was his loyalty to his race and his determination to hang. on. (Applause.)
Those who had remained at home enjoyed the fruits of the sacrifices made for them at Gallipoli and elsewhere.
Those heroes advertised Australia — not her products, her goods — but the fact that this country possessed men with the same spirit of heroism and sacrifice and endurance which had made Britain famous for thousands of years. (Loud applause.)
Following the Premier’s address the Brisbane Austral Male Choir, under the conductorship of Mr. E.R.B. Jordan [ Ernest Robert Bemister Jordan ], gave a splendid rendition of “The Long Day Closes” (Sullivan).
DEPUTY GOVERNOR’S SPEECH.
The Deputy Governor (Mr. William Lennon), in the course of his address, expressed pleasure at witnessing such large attendances at the commemoration services because, to his way of thinking, it indicated that Anzac Day and its observance had come to stay, and was not one of those movements which were begun with a great show of enthusiasm and then allowed to gradually die.
Before the war, all knew that our Queensland boys and girls were of the right sort; all knew that the country was peopled with resourceful and brave men, but we did not know we had so many heroes and heroines as the war disclosed.
All went forth to the war full of courage and hope, and proved, beyond possible doubt, that they were men and women of the right stamp.
Mr. Lennon deplored the desire among a section of the people to jubilate on such an occasion and expressed a hope that Anzac Day would always be commemorated in a solemn and sacred way. (Applause.)
He said it was highly creditable to the women of Queensland that so many went away to act as nurses during the war, and that so many had continued to care for the disabled soldiers since hostilities ceased.
The Anzac Day gatherings were held not only to commemorate the heroic deeds of the men generally, but also to express tender sympathy to those who had sustained losses in the war.
A question that arose was: Are you doing your bit towards the returned soldiers?
He hoped that people who had neglected their duty in that respect would think about it during the one-minute’s silence that night. That was the best way in which people could show their appreciation of the men of Anzac. (Applause.)
Canon Garland said that Anzac Day had now become a permanent memorial in Queensland, and he hoped that, not only for the sake of the soldiers themselves but for sake of the whole community, the memory of the day would never die, but would continue to be forever observed.
Canon Garland recalled that the observance of a “one-minute silence” was originated in Queensland in either January or February, 1916.
He referred with gratification to the continued observance of Anzac Day by the municipal authorities and by the schools of this State.
“THE LAST POST.”
Mr. George Sampson, at the organ, played Beethoven’s “Funeral March on the Death of Hero”, and Chopin’s “Prelude, C Minor, Largo”.
Then “The Last Post” was sounded by Sergeant Barnes [ Herbert “Jerry” Barnes ], a returned soldier bugler, to the accompaniment of muffled drums, the audience remaining standing the while.
At 9 o’clock there was an impressive observance of absolute silence for one minute.
Followed by the playing of “The Dead March in Saul”, by Mr. Samson on the organ.
THE SECOND RESOLUTION.
Brigadier-General C.H. Foott, C.B., C.M.G. (Commandant of the First Military District), was next invited by the Mayor to move the second resolution as follows:—
“This meeting voices its heart-felt sympathy with the relatives of those who have suffered on behalf of the Empire and its assurance that those who have survived the perils of war, will ever be remembered with gratitude by the people whose hearts and homes and free institutions they voluntarily went forth to save.”
The Mayor, in introducing Brigadier-General Foott, said it was appropriate that they should have with them that night an officer who was at the landing on April 25. (Great applause.)
On behalf of the citizens of Brisbane, the Mayor extended a welcome to Brigadier-General Foott, who has just come to Queensland to take command.
In moving the resolution, Brigadier-General Foott said a few words about the Anzacs.
He spoke of their wonderful cheerfulness on the morning of the landing, and in the days that followed, their great spirit of comradeship, of mateship.
All through those early days and nights of hard fighting, all those heavy attacks made by the Turks in May, and all through the fierce fighting in the summer, the Australians maintained their spirit of cheerfulness and of comradeship.
What was even more wonderful was the way they maintained those characteristics when the heavy fighting had died down, and the troops were faced with the long, dreary days of the stalemate.
All through the months during which the men suffered great hardships, when they lacked food, water and comfort, when they were plagued with flies, and suffered from sickness, the spirit of the men was not broken.
Here Brigadier-General Foott interpolated a word of thanks to the people of Australia who strove to alleviate the discomforts the men suffered on the other side.
Nobody could ever say enough in praise of the women and men who contributed in money, in their strength and time, and above all, in their love, to swell those wonderful comfort funds, out of which so much was done for the men during the war.
Reverting to Gallipoli, Brigadier-General Foott said that after the weary months of waiting came the evacuation of Gallipoli, and the men had to leave many a comrade sleeping their long sleep on the Peninsula.
But their sacrifices had not been wasted, because the Anzacs laid the foundations of a great edifice — the Australian Imperial Forces.
The spirit of Anzac forever afterwards permeated the Australian Imperial Forces.
The hymns, “Nearer, My God, To Thee” and “Abide With Me”, were sung by the whole assemblage, the choir gave the Recessional Hymn, “God of Our Fathers” (A.J. Humphrey Coulter), Mr. Les Edye sang “The Phantom Legions” (Ward Stephens), Mr. Harry Borradale dramatically recited “Young Fellow My Lad” (Robert William Service), and Mr. George Sampson, besides contributing the items already mentioned, presided at the organ from 7.30 to 8.05 p.m.
Mr. Archie Day, F.T.C.L., provided accompaniments on the organ to the songs.
The meeting concluded with the singing of the National Anthem.
The whole of the celebration was broadcasted by station 4QG.
— from page 9 of “The Telegraph” of Tuesday, 27 April 1926.
PICTURED ABOVE: The Reverend Canon David John Garland leads mourners to The Stone of Remembrance for his Anzac Day observance on the morning of Monday, 26 April1926. That night he addressed a huge crowd at Brisbane’s Exhibition Hall for the Citizens’ Anzac Day Service. This photograph appeared on page 5 of “The Telegraph” (Brisbane) earlier that day.