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Lismore Boer War Memorial

In the grounds of Lismore Memorial Baths, Lismore New South Wales

During the Boer War one hundred and forty-seven men from the Northern Rivers district saw service in South Africa and nine were either killed in action, died from wounds or succumbed to enteric fever.

The Northern Rivers’ citizens wanted to erect a suitable memorial to honour the patriotism of local men who had served during the war. Lismore was selected as the site for the memorial and committees in surrounding towns and villages worked for over two years to raise money for the memorial’s construction. The design finally chosen was that of a life-sized figure of a lancer. It was cast in copper by the Wunderlich Company of Sydney and complete with concrete and marble base stood 11.3 metres high. It was erected in the centre of the Woodlark and Keen Streets intersection and unveiled on 1 October 1902 as a rather unique memorial to the South African Campaign. Many locals were upset when the statue was set facing west, for in such a position the lancer appeared to turn his back on a church on one corner in favour of looking at the hotel on the opposite corner. The answer to this objection was that symbolically the figure was looking towards South Africa. The marble tablet on the east side listed the engagements in which local troops took part while that on the west side read:— Erected by the people of the Richmond River to commemorate the part taken in the South African War by the Citizen Soldiers of the District. Hostilities began 10th October 1899, Peace proclaimed 2nd June 1902. Gloria Fortibus (Honour to the Brave).

On the southern side the tablet listed the names of the men who died at the war; Troopers T. B. Burgess, D. Black, L. Fetting, H. L. N. Gaggin, J. I. Goodall, H. T. Jones, J. K. Matheson, P. K. McNamara and E. G. Ogle. The Tablet on the North was engraved:— Branches of the service represented at the front; 53 N.S.W. Lancers, 13 Scottish Rifles, 5 Reservists and 76 Civilians. Names of all combatants from the district (with particulars of service) appear on a scroll in the Town Hall.

The statue was relocated to the Lismore Memorial Baths corner Market and Molesworth Streets  Lismore at some time (reputedly its third move).

Photographs: J Smith, M Lee and J Howells
Martin J Buckley The NSW Northern Rivers Lancers Lismore 1991 pp 16-17


A plaster cast made from the Wunderlich mould that was used to create the copper statue is also on display in Boer War Room of the New South Wales Lancers' Memorial Museum at Parramatta NSW.

 

 

© National Boer War Memorial Association Inc ABN 49 709 547 198