Beautiful Cross unveiled

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ANZAC DAY
IN BRISBANE

Services in the Churches
Speech by the Governor-General

 

ANZAC DAY was reverently observed in Brisbane [ on 25 April 1924 ].

Many solemn functions were held, commencing with the unveiling of the beautiful Cross of Sacrifice, in Toowong Cemetery, by the Governor-General (Lord Forster) [ Henry William Forster ], as reported in the first edition.

Large congregations attended the services in the various churches. In the afternoon a combined open-air Memorial Service, following a naval and military march from Albert Square, was held in the Exhibition Grounds.

The people’s tribute to the “immortal dead” concluded with a public meeting at the Exhibition Hall at night, which was addressed by the Governor-General and other notabilities.

At the morning’s ceremony of unveiling The Cross of Sacrifice and The Stone of Remembrance in Toowong Cemetery there was a large attendance of civic, military and naval representatives.

Despite the early hour, perhaps three thousand people made the pilgrimage to the cemetery, most of them carrying beautiful floral wreaths to place on The Stone and on the graves of the soldiers who are buried there.

The whole of the arrangements were splendidly carried out.

The area immediately surrounding The Cross and Stone was enclosed by barriers, and only those actually taking part in the ceremony and members of the Committee were admitted.

Next-of-kin of members of the A.I.F. [ First Australian Imperial Force ] and navy buried in the cemetery were accommodated in a specially-reserved area on one side of the grassy mound upon which The Stone and Cross are mounted, while on the other side the Brisbane Citizens’ Band and the Naval Guard were located.

RECEPTION OF LORD FORSTER.

His Excellency the Governor-General arrived promptly at the appointed time. He wore a military uniform, with sword at side.

His personal A.D.C., Lieut.-Commander R.M. Seymour [ sic, William John Seymour ], was in naval dress.

Lady Forster [ Rachel Forster, neé Cecily ] was received by Mrs. Gillies (wife of the Acting Premier) [ Margaret Gillies, neé Smith ].

Among the military representatives present were noticed:

Captain B.W.M. Fairbairn [ Bernard William Murray Fairbairn ] and a number of officers from H.M.S. Dragon also attended, and Lieut.-Commander Mutton (District Naval Officer) [ Edward Smith Mutton ] was another naval representative.

The Mayor of Brisbane (Ald. M.J. Barry) [ Maurice Joseph Barry ] arrived early, carrying a nice wreath.

After his Excellency the Governor-General had ascended the steps of The Stone of Remembrance he stood between the officiating clergy facing The Cross of Sacrifice.

On the lower rung of the steps on either side of The Stone, Lieut.-Commander Mutton, Major-General Bruche, Captain Fairbairn stood on the left and Chaplain-Colonel Garland, the Deputy Governor of Queensland (Mr. W. Lennon) [ William Lennon ], and the Acting Premier (Mr. W.N. Gillies) [ William Neal Gillies ] on the right.

A FITTING CEREMONY.

It was a fitting ceremony for such a great occasion, and the crowd dwelt on the words of the clergy as they recited the psalms and prayers.

All eyes were focused on The Stone of Remembrance when Lord Forster rolled back the covering flag from the memorial, upon the face of which are stamped, in indelible letters, the words: “Their names liveth for evermore.”

There was a still greater silence as the King’s representative caught the cords that held the flags which screened The Cross of Sacrifice, and performed the unveiling ceremony.

It was a memorable occasion for those who attended.

Speaking in slow and deliberate tones, Lord Forster’s voice carried to the limits of the area covered by the assemblage and thus almost all were able to hear the beautiful words he spoke during his address.

One fine passage was “Just as they were comrades through all the turmoil and horrors of warfare, so do we believe they are comrades, still in the peace and glory of immortal life.”

The address of the Acting Premier, too, was very inspiring.

The buglers were Staff-Sergeant J. Barnes [ Herbert “Jerry” Barnes ], Sergeant A. Jackson, and Seamen Journeaux [ Francis William Journeaux ] and Barnden, of the Dragon.

— from page 2 of “The Telegraph” (Brisbane) of 26 April 1924.

PICTURED ABOVE: Children wander about the foot of The Stone of Remembrance on Anzac Day 1924 after the Australian Governor-General, Lord Henry William Forster, officially unveiled Australia’s first Anzac War Memorial in what is now Canon Garland Place at Brisbane’s Toowong Cemetery. This image is from the State Library of Queensland photo collection [ Record number: 254828. ]