Please CLICK HERE to download His Excellency the Governor General's message for Boer War Day 2017.
Please CLICK HERE to download the Chief of Defence Force's message for Boer War Day 2017.
The annual Adelaide Boer War Day Commemorative Service was held at 1100 h on Sunday, 28 May 2017 at the South African Boer War monument on North Terrace in the city. This is the heritage listed monument outside the Government House gates. A report is awaited.
Enquiries contact Hon. Secretary on (08) 8632 5574.
Dedication of a memorial gravestone for George Henry Wall at Beechworth Cemetery was held on Wednesday 31 May 2017 at 1000 h. CLICK HERE for George's story.
With so many of our team and supporters attending the Boer War Memorial dedication in Canberra, Brisbane broke with tradition and held the Boer War Day commemoration service the Sunday before (28th May) at Anzac Square in the Brisbane CBD. As we usually do, we gathered adjacent to the existing Boer War memorial of the mounted trooper.
We were blessed with a fine sunny Queensland morning and a gathering of some 80 supporters and descendants, which was more than we had anticipated given that so many had already headed off to Canberra.
The CO of the 2/14 Light Horse Regiment (Qld Mounted Infantry), LTCOL Andrew Moss CSM, provided a Catafalque Party. Our Chairman LTCOL Ron McElwaine presented to the CO, on behalf of the regiment’s Light Horse Museum at Enoggera Barracks, a necklace of native beads which were obtained during the Boer War by PVT William Cash of Britain’s King’s Royal Rifles. Our association also made special presentation of some military history books to TPR Matt McQuillan in recognition of his nomination as the regiment’s best performing soldier in 2017.
In addition to the support from members of 2/14 LH (QMI) we are grateful also for the support of bugler Mr Ray Koenig, drummers from the Qld Services Heritage Band, poet Mr Own Corry and students from Aspley State High School - with special thanks to Ms Mabel McCormack who led us in singing the National Anthem along with Ms Milla Cedergren from St Anthony’s Primary School.
The Memorial on Anzac Parade Canberra was dedicated on Wednesday 31 May 2017. Video of the dedication appears below, use the controls to view.
Some 1500 were at the memorial dedication some are puctured in the slide show below.
AWM Last Post Ceremony 28 May 2017
The ACT Committee of the National Boer War Memorial Association participated in the Last Post Ceremony which will commemorate the 115th anniversary of the end of the Boer War on the 28 May 2017 at the Australian War Memorial. This will remember the life of Lieutenant Stanley Spencer Reid of the Sixth Western Australian Mounted Rifles (6WAMR) who died of wounds sustained at Middelburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa on 23 June 1901.
The ACT Committee will lay a wreath in memory of all Australians who made the supreme sacrifice and served in the South African War of 1899-1902.
The Last Post ceremony is held 364 days per year in the Commemorative Area of the Memorial. Each ceremony tells the story behind just one of the names on the Roll of Honour.
A video of the ceremony as it took place appears below, please use the controls to view:
A service in Clarence Town at the Boer War Memorial at the gates in Queen Street which is entry to the football field on the 28 May at 1030 h. A report is awaited.
The Nowra RSL Sub-Branch held its annual Boer War Day Service at the Boer War Memorial in Rauch Park, Junction Street Nowra at 1600 h on Sunday 4 June 2017. A report is awaited.
The ANZAC Day March was again lead by both our Boer War banners carried by Scouts and Guides and Descendants later followed in the march by the new descendant banner that descendants march behind.
The annual Boer War Day Service at the Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne 12 noon on 28 May 2017. A commemoration service commenced with a march up to the eternal flame by Boer War Descendants, Distinguished Guests as well as the Creswick Light Horse, Australian Great War Association, The Rats of Tobruk Pipes and Drums, supported by leaders and Boy Scouts from different Scout groups.
The weather report had not been a good one for the day with others making their way to Canberra for the National Boer War Memorial Dedication our numbers were down with only three hundred attending the Service to Commemorate the signing of the Peace Treaty of Vereening on 31 May 1902.
The Commemoration Address was delivered by Major General Mike O'Brien CSC. Twenty four distinguished guests attended these included Ms Lizzie Blandthorn MP Representing the Minister for Veterans, Mr Nick Wakeling MP Member for Ferntree Gully, Cr Philip Le Lui Representing Lord Mayor City of Melbourne, Cr Bernadene Voss Mayor City of Port Phillip, Mr David Cunningham Director Operational Support Dept of Veterans Affairs Victoria, Lieutenant Colonel Laureen Grimes Veterans Council Dept. of Premier & Cabinet, Major General Jim Barry AM, MBE, RFD, ED, Lieutenant Colonel Chaplain Russell Adams Salvation Army, Dr Robert Webster President RSL Victoria, Colonel Marcus Fielding Military History and Heritage Vic, Colonel John Coulson OAM RFD ED Shrine Governor Representing the Shrine Trustees, The Hon Michael and Wendy Baden-Powell, and our 108 year young first descendant Mary Sadler who still shows that age is not a barrier by walking unaided to the distinguished guest tent.
We were again supported after the service in their tent by The Salvation Army providing hot food sandwiches and drinks. The Scout and Guides will again be presented with a certificate for attending the service that will go towards their heritage badge.
Perth turned on a particularly fine day for the 115th annual commemoration and reconciliation service conducted at the South African War memorial in our magnificent Kings Park.
The Botanical Parks and Gardens Authority had recently completed a restoration and upgrade project on both the memorial and the 77mm Krupp canon and the memorial , the canon and the surrounding trees and shrubbery were at their finest for many years.
Around two hundred civic and Australia Defence Force dignitaries as well as members of the public were in attendance and again the WA South African community and the South African Veterans Organization of Australasia (SAMVOA) were very well represented. (They have indeed, made this very much their own day as well as ours.) We again scored a nautical trifecta with representatives from the RAN, RN and RNZN.
The New Zealand Honorary Consul for WA, Mr Chris Ellison, being the sole member of the diplomatic corps in attendance , laid a wreath on behalf of the NZG
Making his first appearance with us as the WA Minister for Veterans was the Honourable Peter Tinley AM MLA. Peter is an Afghanistan Veteran who has taken a keen interest in our activities since becoming our minister. He scored something of a Boer War double in that he was in Canberra on the 31 May representing the Premier at the dedication service of our national Boer War memorial-a not to be missed feature, along with the Australian War Memorial, for any visiting Canberra and joining us in Perth four days later for our WA service.
Our president, Mr Dave Thomas, opened the service and passed on the sad news that a member, Mr Darryl Herbert, has recently passed away. Darryl had been a great supporter and generous donor to us from day one. His philanthropy and kind spirit will be sorely missed.
Brigadier Duncan Warren AM, RFD (Retd) was our MC for the day and commenced with the reading of the good will messages from the Governor General and the Governor of Western Australia. Duncan again demonstrated his well-honed skills in the public arena.
Leading us in prayer once again was the Rev John Dunn who as always gave all attending the opportunity to pause and reflect upon the futility of war and the tragic state of the world due to recent terrorist attacks in the UK and elsewhere.
The key note speaker was Dr Charl Crous APM whose Afrikaner background gave him a solid background to what was a most informative and thought provoking address. It was a history lesson for all.
The reconciliation speech was delivered by Mr Garth Pienaar of SAMVOA who introduced into the service the very evocative song by the South African song writer, John Edmond (1936-1992) "Blessed Angel" a dedication to Emily Hobhouse. This song along with "Sarie Marais" sung by Laurence van der Linda brought an emotional response from many in attendance. (Those of us old enough to remember the Springbok rugby tours of the 50’s and 60’s will recognize Sarie Marais as the then South African national anthem. Many Afrikaners present also recognizing Blessed Angel.)
Our own chorister and song bird of note, Ms Moira Wilson regaled us with "Soldiers of the Queen" and "Goodbye Dolly Gray" both popular songs of the era.
Adding considerably to our service this year was the professional quality PA system provided by Mr Paul Weir and his team of Castlerock Productions. If I have the term correct, it was its “resonance” that made it superior to all previous PA systems.
Bob Wise and his merry men from The Westralian Great War Living History Association provided the catafalque party whose steadiness on parade was commendable as we went around 15 mins over our planned 1 hour time frame. It would have been a considerable relief to them the finally receive the order from Brigadier Warren "dismount the catafalque party!" They performed their drills with almost regular army precision, solemnity and dignity.
Treating the wreath laying with calculated equine insouciance was War Horse Gee-Jay as he accompanied his rider, Mr Phil Sullivan from the 10th Light Horse Memorial Troop as he laid the "Horses and Transportation Animals Wreath".
No such insouciance was permissible for Lt Col (Rtd) John Tick our Wreath Master as he worked assiduously to maintain the order and sequence of some 35 plus official wreaths that were laid in the day. Well done John! (I suspect that wreath management may not have been on the curriculum when John attended staff college all those years ago!)
The Morley Boys Brigade provided the flag party and were alert to my attempt to have the NZ ensign substituted for the Australian one. They brought me undone on this one!
Again the Salvation Army and St Johns Ambulance provided their services and their coffee did much to steady the hands and heads of more than a few of us, myself included.
Sydney conducted its Annual NSW Boer War Commemoration Service on Sunday 28 May 2017 on the northern forecourt of the ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park South. The chief guest for the event was Major General the Honourable Justice Paul Brereton, AM, RFD. An interested group attended.
This year’s Hobart's annual Boer War Commemorative Day occurred Sunday 4th of June with the ceremony kicking off at 12 noon. It was held at the impressive Boer War Memorial, Queen's Domain. It has been the fifteenth time the ceremony has been held in the capital. Fortunately the weather was good, although cloudy, but no wind with the rain holding off. Public attendance was good because of it with a record number of wreaths being laid while the Lone Piper played a lament.Proceedings began, after the cadets had mounted guard with the playing of Edwardian airs by the Clarence City Band while the Light Horse together with the SSA Militaria Collectors Tasmania taking up their positions. MC for the day was Major Richard James (retd). Organiser, Reg Watson, then gave a ten minute address which mainly consisted this year of his visit as Tasmanian Representative to the National Boer War Memorial in Canberra unveiled by the Governor-General, Sir Robert Cosgrove. The MC read the Governor-General's Boer War message.
After Reg's address, wreaths were laid by mayors of various municipalities and representatives of the Tasmanian Government and Opposition, beside the public. A salute was then fired, followed by the playing of the Last Post, then one minute silence, Reveille and the Ode. The Clarence City Band played firstly 'The National Anthem' followed by 'God Save the Queen', and ending with the 'Tasmanian Anthem'. The Catafalque party dismounted which completing formal proceedings while the band continued playing Edwardian airs. Many met socially afterwards. It was judged by Reg, as a great success.
A fortnight later, Sunday 18th June the Launceston ceremony was held at the Boer War Memorial, City Park commencing at noon. The day was outstanding weather-wise which prompted the best gathering in the northern city in its eleven year history.The Launceston City RSL Band played Edwardian airs before matters got underway with the MC of the day being Dr Frank Madill AM, a well known figure in the northern city.
RAAF cadets mounted guard with Reg Watson once again providing the address, much the same as the Hobart one with suitable alterations. Afterwards wreaths were laid with the Lone Piper playing a lament. A scriptural reading, Psalm 123 was given by Gary Fitzallen. Mr Fitzallen had an ancestor who died in the war. The MC read the Governor-General's Boer War message. The Ode, Last Post, minute’s silent and Lest We forget followed, then “God Save the Queen” and the “Australian National Anthem”. The catafalque party dismounted finishing with Reg thanking everyone. Socialising continued, accompanied with further Edward airs from the band.
One of the attractions of the northern event was the interest shown by the colourful dress of the Northern Tasmanian Living History Group. Reg stated that the Launceston ceremony was the best attended ever, 'with such good weather, one would expect this'. A party came all the way from Queenstown on the west coast to attend.
Both ceremonies got marvellous media coverage. Beside local community newspapers, there was news reports on both Southern Cross TV News and Win TV News. The northern daily, The Examiner gave a marvellous write up with the ABC radio interviewing Reg.
A highlight of both ceremonies was the participation of Mr Stephen Clark, ex serviceman from South Africa who took the opportunity to lay a posy on behalf of the Boer Women and children. A nice gesture of reconciliation.
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