Our Soldier Boys


‘Nothing is too good
for our Soldiers.’

I am writing with feelings of anger and sadness.

I was coming this morning [ Wednesday, 15 October 1919 ] from Rosemount Hospital in a tram, when turning a corner in the city, I saw stepping off the pavement a man in civilian clothes wearing a returned soldiers’ badge; he had one boot and sock off, was flourishing a spare pair of trousers in his hand, and was much the worse for liquor.

He did not see the tram coming and bumped into it; fortunately for him I caught him and whirled him away from danger.

A respectable man in front of me turned round to me and said, “The drink again.”

Now I don’t quite agree with that and I therefore replied, “You could stand plenty of liquor but that boy, after what he has been through, cannot stand half a glass.”

Later on I learnt that the boy was picked up by the police, incapable of taking care of himself.

A civilian, bearing a well-known name in Queensland, was with this boy and for his own purposes had encouraged him to drink, yet in such cases the blame is put upon the soldier, or upon militarism, when the blame lies elsewhere and probably with the civilian.

Such incidents as this, all too frequent, need our charitable judgement on the soldier and also demand reparation from us.

There ought not to be more than an occasional drunken soldier seen and there would not be if there were a wholesome public opinion.

Will people, instead of pointing at the returned soldier for drinking too much, create a wholesome public opinion against offering him liquor, remembering that, after the Hell he has been in, he is not able to stand liquor as those can who remained at home?

Some reparation can be made by offering such counter-attractions that the returned soldier will seek them instead of less desirable places.

Temperance speeches are not much use in this instance, but institutions such as ours and kindred institutions are the best way of dealing with the problem.

Let anyone who sees a returned soldier the worse for drink not reproach, but pity him, and send a donation to our funds as an acknowledgement of personal responsibility for his care.

The shell-shock soldier is often not responsible for his actions, those who give him drink make him worse.

All soldiers are not suffering from shell-shock, but all are suffering from their war experience and need to be helped upwards, not pushed down or out, or pointed to with a pharisaical superiority as worse than anyone else.

ARMISTICE DAY.– In Brisbane we are observing Armistice Day (11 November) by a celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the War Chapel at 10 a.m., when I look for a good attendance of members of the Society [ the Soldiers’ Church of England Help Society ] and also of soldiers and friends.

We ought at least to give thanks to God on that day, and remember those who made it possible for us to celebrate such an event.

It will be of interest to our friends to know that the Union Jack, which was used as the pall for Australians who died at the base camp in Egypt, is now the cover of the altar in the War Chapel.

In the evening we are having a social and dance in the Centennial Hall, which will be open to all returned soldiers.

I hope that in the country there will be some similar observance of Armistice Day, and if there has not been a formal welcome in any parish to the returned soldiers, this would make a good opportunity.

We have all sorts of clubs outside the Church welcoming the returned soldiers; the Church which gave the largest proportion of men from Australia ought not to be behind any organisation in the welcome home.


  • Anzac Club, Charlotte Street, Brisbane, opening 1915.
  • Anzac Club Home, Charlotte Street, Brisbane (board and Lodging), opened 1919.
  • Coolangatta Rest House, Tweed Heads (Board and Lodging), opened 1918.
  • Toowoomba Rest Rooms, opened 1915.

Donations may be earmarked for these institutions, or given to or General Society Funds. They can be addressed to me or the Treasurer, Box 47, GPO Brisbane.

David J. Garland

Brisbane, 15th Oct., 1919.

– from pages 229 and 231 of the 1 November 1919 issue of “The Church Chronicle” (Diocese of Brisbane)
For returned First AIF men such as London-born Saddler Sergeant Henry Alfred Testro (No. 3026, late of the 4th Section, 1st Divisional Ammunition Column and afterwards of 23 Malcolm Street, Hawthorne, in Brisbane), the Soldiers’ Church of England Help Society collected funds and provided places of refreshment, light and peace in the form of hostels, games rooms, reading and recreation spaces, as well as fellowship and support. This photo was published on page 25 of the 23 February 1918 edition of “The Queenslander” Pictorial Supplement, and depicts Sgt Testro with his wife, Florence Testro, and seven of their children. He died on 10 February 1959, at the age of 79.

Egyptian rebellion incidents



WHEN a “Daily Mail” representative found Chaplain-Colonel Garland, V.D. [ David John Garland, Volunteer Detachment ], who returned to Brisbane on Tuesday [ 9 September 1919 ], after an absence of about two years in Egypt, Palestine and Syria, he was very busily engaged and carried on a conversation while attending to other duties.

He had just held a service in The Anzac Club war chapel, which was nearly filled.

His son [ David James Garland ], a returned soldier, served at the altar, and Rev. W.J. Gerrard  [ William John Gerrard ] was the Assistant Priest.

After the service, members of the Soldiers’ Church of England Help Society (of which he is the founder and director) had morning tea as an informal welcome to him.

Then followed an inspection of The Anzac Club, and afterwards the workers and returned men shook hands and had a chat with their chaplain-colonel.

Chaplain-Colonel Garland established clubs for the troops is Cairo, Port Said, Moascar, Ismailia, Homs, Aleppo and Jerusalem, and a houseboat on the Nile for convalescents.

He supplied a large number of marquees to units, and did much else for the comfort of the men.

Asked his opinion of the Light Horsemen, he said, “No praise can be too great for the work of the Australians in the Great War.

“Over and over again they had been used as shock troops or held in reserve; for important and dangerous engagements.

“I do not want to depreciate others or make comparisons, and I am quite ready to criticise our own men where criticism is just, yet notwithstanding this, I am satisfied the Australians were excelled by none.”

He is very emphatic that the articles about the Australians’ misconduct are all exaggerated.

Their behaviour, he says, compared favourably with that of any other troops, and on one occasion, at least, the Australian troops rendered valuable assistance to the British authorities to keep order amongst other troops, and for this they received the thanks of the highest authority.

“During the recent rebellion in Egypt they did magnificent work,” he continued.

“They were just of the manner born, and, strange to say, while the Egyptians feared them, they learned in the end to almost love them.

“The rebellion was a serious thing. In my own case, I had to go to service in Cairo in an armoured car which was attended by a guard.

“The white women and children were removed to compounds, which were surrounded by heavily armed guards.

“That the rebellion was serious was shown by the fact that the Christians, Jews and Moslems joined together — natural enemies though they were.

“The Cross, the Crescent and the Shield of David were embroidered on the same banner— an unprecedented event in history.

“The rebellion was checked in time, however, and the British banner continued to fly over Cairo.”

Chaplain-Colonel Garland said he was greatly impressed with the splendid work of the Society during his absence.

While he always believed in the Society, what had been accomplished had exceeded even his faith in it.

At the Residential Club the previous night boys were sleeping on the floor, the place was so crowded while the Club itself during the morning was full of boys.

Plenty of women workers were on the premises. He wished to say of the women that nobody could accuse them of being easily tired, for he found among them those who had been working when he went away.

With them were new workers, whom he welcomed.

Evidently the Society was filling a want which the boys themselves appreciated, and he was sure it would continue so lone as the returned soldier cared to avail himself of its services.

— from page 10 of “The Daily Mail” (Brisbane) of 13 September 1919.
 The last contingents of Australian Light Horse Regiments left stationed in Egypt were tasked with containing a popular uprising of local citizens in 1919. This image appeared on page 27 of the “The Queenslander Pictorial, Supplement to The Queenslander” of 30 August 1919. The caption reads: “A souvenir of the disturbances in Egypt. This photograph was taken (by No. 1160, Middlesex-born Gallipoli veteran, Trooper Albert John Frisby of the 5th Light Horse Regiment) during the recent attempt to organise a rebellion in Egypt, when Australian Light Horsemen were escorting the trains. Trooper Alfred Benny [ No. 2254A, 5th Light Horse Regiment ], of Clermont (Queensland) is shown on the engine. He formed one of the party guarding the train.”

Recruiting campaign progress


A MEETING of the Queensland Recruiting Executive was held in the City Council Chambers yesterday [ 8 October 1915 ].

Hon. A.J. Thynne [ Andrew Joseph Thynne ] presided, and there were also present: Mr. P.B. Macgregor (hon. secretary) [ Peter Balderston McGregor ], Lieutenant-Colonel Canon Garland (hon. organising secretary) [ David John Garland ], Messrs. R.C. Ramsay [ Robert (“Bob”) Christian Ramsay ] and J.U. McNaught [ John Ure McNaught ], Alderman G. Down [ George Down ], and Lieutenant-Colonels Moore [ Richard Albert Moore ] and Hopkins [ George Herbert Hopkins ].

Mr. McNaught was elected a member of the executive in place of Captain C.S. Fraser, who has been called up for service.

Canon Garland reported on an interview he had had with Senator Pearce (Minister for Defence) [ George Foster Pearce ], which was highly satisfactory.

The interview left no room for doubt that the Minister desired that recruiting in Queensland should be pushed forward.

The very fact, that Australia was not getting her full reinforcements made this all the more necessary.

The reinforcements called for by the Federal Government were 16,000 men per month to take the places of the killed, wounded, and sick. The number was short.

Queensland, however, had been doing very well, and had furnished more than the quota laid down by the Federal War Committee.

This, however, was no reason for self-satisfaction or for going slow.

The fact that there was a shortage in other parts of Australia should inspire the Queen of States to give a lead to the Commonwealth.

As a result of the interview with the Minister the executive was now aiming at obtaining 10,000 recruits as quickly as possible.

The Minister had given his assurance that there would be adequate equipment for 10,000 men a month if they came forward.

Both the Prime Minister [ William Morris (“Billy”) Hughes ] and the Minister for Defence recently made public statements that every man available was wanted, and there was no doubt left in his (Canon Garland’s) mind that these Ministers meant what they said.

He made this remark because it had been reported that Members of Parliament had stated that recruiting might he abated.

He wished to correct this — never was there a greater necessity for recruiting being kept up than at present.

The executive agreed upon instituting a city campaign, to be started in Brisbane at an early date. The details were referred to a sub-committee for arrangement.

A recruiting film was approaching completion, and it was intended that this film (which gave scenes of camp life) should be screened throughout Queensland, so that the persons in remote parts of the country would be enabled to see the conditions under which the recruits lived in the camps.

The question of a recruits’ march from some of the country towns through Brisbane was also considered, and the matter was referred to a sub-committee for report.

Referring yesterday to his impressions of the New South Wales’ camps, gained during his recent visit, Lieutenant-Colonel Canon Garland said his position precluded his making comparisons, but his daily contact for many hours with camp life in Queensland left no doubt in his mind that everything possible was done to provide for the men’s comfort and health.

He was particularly impressed with the way in which the authorities had dealt with meningitis, which (according to telegrams in the Press) was serious in other places, but had been almost stamped out in the Queensland camps.

Mixing constantly with the men, many of whom were his personal friends long before they enlisted, he got only one opinion from them as to the good treatment and care.

Of course there were persons who considered that men ought to be treated as if in a first-class hotel, or living under home conditions with their mothers, and there would be no satisfying such people.

But the plain proof of the excellence of the conditions was to be found in the way recruiting continued, for if things were unsatisfactory the word would he passed round by those in camp, and intending recruits would be discouraged.

It was quite possible that this was the cause of the falling off elsewhere.

Speaking of his own experience, he said he could testify that anything which seemed to need improvement was at once dealt with by the authorities if their attention was drawn to it in a proper manner.

— from page 6 of “The Brisbane Courier” of 9 October 1915.

PICTURED ABOVE: A Queensland Recruiting Committee poster from early in World War I. This image is
from the State Library of Queensland Collection’s Hackett’s Scrapbooks (OM92-46).

Lecturing in Mackay


CANON Garland [ David John Garland ], who is spending this week-end in Mackay, will lecture in the Parish Hall to-night at 8 on the Church Revival Centenary.

Canon Garland is one of the leading church men of Brisbane and is very well known in North Queensland.

He was Archdeacon of North Queensland for some years, and was Rector of Charters Towers from 1902 to 1907.

He is the first Anglican priest to be made a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre by the Patriarch Damianos of Jerusalem, and is an authority on the Orthodox Church.

He has made a special study of the history of the last 100 years of the Church of England.

He will be glad to answer questions after his lecture.

– from page 6 of “The Daily Mercury” (Mackay, Queensland) of 14 November 1932.

PICTURED ABOVE: Drawn from Canon Garland’s “Magic Lantern” series of glass slides, this scene was captured outside the great doors of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre after the Thanksgiving service conducted by Canon Garland on Sunday, 9 December 1917, under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Church. The commanding officer of the British Expeditionary Force, General Edmund Allenby [in light khaki], is preceded by the Archimandrite Nicodemus. This image – captured by a Lieutenant Gibbs – was first published – together with three other photographs actually taken by Canon Garland – on page 22 of “The Queenslander Pictorial” supplement to “The Queenslander” of 30 March 1918.

Home from Palestine


LIEUTENANT-COLONEL Chaplain D.J. Garland, V.D., [ David John Garland ] returned to Brisbane last night [ 10 September 1919 ] after nearly two years’ service with the A.I.F. in Egypt, Palestine and Syria.

He was looking very well.

In course of conversation, he paid tribute to the great work accomplished by the Australian Light Horse, and remarked that the numbers engaged on the west Front and the colossal operations there carried out had had a tendency to overshadow the brilliant work of the Australians in Palestine.

He said that their great drives which swept over Syria were the most wonderful thing of their kind in military history.

In fact, the enemy could not believe that the Light Horse had travelled overland.

He defended the Australians from suggestions that they were not amenable to discipline, and he had a word of praise for the Australian Comforts’ Fund, remarking that, the boys could not have done without it at the Front, and on the transports.

Special receptions are being prepared for Canon Garland.

— from page 2 of “The Telegraph” (Brisbane) of 11 September 1919.

PICTURED ABOVE: Men of the Australian Light Horse on manoeuvres somewhere on the Palestine/Syria Front, late in World War I.
Canon Garland was the First AIF’s most senior Church of England chaplain in this theatre for the last two years of the war. 

July in Jerusalem

Fr Garland with troopers in Egypt, circa 1917-1919.


CANON Garland [ David John Garland ] writes from Jerusalem, in respect to the Church of England Australian Fund for Soldiers, on July 26:—

“In strolling through the old city of Jerusalem I was struck by the improvement and cleanliness, showing how our advent is making itself felt.

“The object of my visit was to secure premises for our [ Jerusalem ] Club, and after beating down the landlord I got the premises for £70 a year. They are three-storied.

“The ground floor is occupied by the military for grain store, and the other storeys are ours, and are in good repair, but they will need disinfecting and cleaning.

“I hope this will only take a couple of days, so that I can get them done and buy furniture and then send Mrs. Martin up.

“They are not two minutes from the Jaffa Gates [ sic ] , where our Australian boys are always hanging about trying to get into the Holy City.

“Today there were over 50 as I came through. There was nothing to do except to get them in. They would have become discontented, and some gone to wine shops.

“Our club will make a meeting place where they can rest and have a cup of tea.

“Chaplains look for them to take them into the Holy City.

“To-day, however, I could not go with this lot, but I got them in under charge of three officers, so they were all happy.

“Later in the day I took another party myself to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where I prayed at the Sepulchre and Calvary. The boys were most reverent and appreciative.

“Then I went down to St. George’s Cathedral to witness an entertainment by the ‘Church Army’ in honour of the extension of its previous work in Jerusalem, which is very important.

“At 1 p.m. next day the car arrived for me from the Desert Corps Headquarters, and in an hour I was there, dropped 1,000 ft. amidst dust, too great for words, ran through Bethany, passed the site of the Inn of the Good Samaritan, the well which marked the boundary between Jerusalem and Israel, along the road which our Lord often trod to His loved Bethany, and the road which He followed to Jericho, Jordan, and Galilee.

“I dined at headquarters with three other generals; they were all keenly interested in our Jerusalem Club, showed much sympathy, and gave practical help.

“General T. said it was very much needed, and would do good work.

“The sanitation and water supply are big problems.

“After a conference with General T. I left by car for Jerusalem, and went to a camp in Bethlehem, where I saw one of our marquees in use as a regimental or camp canteen, much appreciated by the boys.

“Then we drove to St. Simon’s, where there is an ambulance rest camp, not for boys from hospital, but just tired and run-down in the lines.

“Here I saw two marquees of ours, one used as a shade rest tent for the boys to loaf in, and the other for entertainment.”

— from page 2 of “The Express and Telegraph” (Adelaide, South Australia) of 25 September 1918.

PICTURED ABOVE: From Canon Garland’s “Magic Lantern” series of photographs taken while he was senior Church of England military chaplain with the First AIF in Jerusalem and the Palestine/Syria campaign between 1917 and 1918. This image shows Canon Garland posing with some of “the boys” of the First AIF. For their entertainment and relaxation, a hostel was established “not two minutes from the Jaffa Gates”.