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 Over 100 Attend BWM Association’s Queensland Presentation on "The Fathers of the Anzacs"  

Bill Cross PresentingDescendantsWith an estimated 25% on the 1st AIF soldiers in WW1 being Boer War veterans, including 1 in 6 at Gallipoli, the National Boer War Memorial Association chose "The Fathers of the Anzacs" as the theme for 2015.

On a typical warm and sunny Sunday, 27th September, the NBWM Assoc Queensland Committee entertained over 100 Descendants, Supporters and guests … including a busload of War Widows who came down from Toowoomba for the event.

There were 7 speakers, including an update on the memorial progress by Project Manager, MAJ Steve Bain. The keynote address was given by Dianne Melloy, who is not only the grand-daughter of a 5th QIB veteran, but was also one of the 10 Australian War Widows of a WW1 husband in the official party at ANZAC Cove this year. Dianne talked about the 15 Boer War veterans from Brisbane Grammar School, several of whom went on to fight in WW1.

The afternoon was both informative and entertaining with a fine Afternoon Tea prepared by the Ladies Auxilliary from our host, the Sherwood-Indooroopilly RSL Sub-Branch, to whom we remain grateful for all their on-going support.

the Crowd

 Philip Bacon Helps BWM Reach out in Brisbane 23 July 2015

Noted art dealer and generous BWM Supporter, Mr Philip Bacon AM, dug deep to host a gathering of high profile guests in Brisbane.

Held at in the splendid WW1 gallery room of the Queensland Art Gallery on Thursday evening 23rd July, guest speaker was former Governor General, Major General The Honourable Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC, who is also a great supporter of the BWM project and spoke enthusiastically about the project and our need for funds to complete it.

There were over 30 high profile Brisbane guests, including our former Patron, Governor General Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, Senator for Queensland Joanna Lindgren as well as our National President, COL John Haynes OAM. Representing BWM Queensland were LTCOL Ron McElwaine OAM RFD ED and CAPT Bill Cross OAM.

Our gratitude is extended to Philip Bacon for generously organising and funding this fund important event.

Brisbane 23 July 2015 Brisbane 23 July 2015
Brisbane 23 July 2015 Brisbane 23 July 2015
Brisbane 23 July 2015 Brisbane 23 July 2015

 Boer War Memorial Fund Meeting 5 February 2015

Sydney meeting calls for completion of Australia’s first national
memorial to the forgotten heroes who served in Australia’s first war.

At the FundraiserA meeting of supporters of the National Boer War Memorial Fund held in Sydney at the Mitchell Library on Thursday 5 February has called on government authorities and charitable trusts to assist in completion of Australia’s first national memorial to the 23,000 Australian men and women who served in the Boer War.

At the FundraiserThe site for the memorial on Canberra’s Anzac Parade was allocated in 2006, a design competition was completed in 2013, and work on the four mounted trooper bronze statues to be erected on the site has been in hand since 2014.

Additional funds are now being sought to complete the memorial in time for its dedication on Boer War Day, May 31, 2017. Over $1.5-million has been donated so far but an additional $3.4 million is sought to enable completion.

Speakers at the meeting included The Hon David Hurley, previously Patron of the National Boer War Memorial Association, and now Governor of NSW, and The Hon Michael Jeffery, former Governor of WA and Governor General of Australia.

David Hurley reaffirmed his commitment to the Memorial, reminding the meeting that as Chief of the Defence Force he gladly took on the role of Patron of the Association and was privileged to be in that position for the unveiling of the Memorial design.

In calling for action to complete the long-overdue Memorial, the Governor stated: “It is tremendously important that we achieve what we want to achieve here. I think there is plenty of goodwill and recognition of what needs to be done. We just need to get over the final hurdle. Now I am no longer Chief of Defence Force and Patron, but very much a very active supporter of what we are trying to achieve.”

Michael Crouch, Fund Chairman, pointed out that Australian volunteers who served in the Boer War tend to be overlooked by historians and educators, as the war commenced in 1899 and ended in 1902, a year after our Federation.

At the FundraiserAt the Fundraiser"The Boer War was the first war fought by our nation", he told the meeting, "Of the 23,000 Australian volunteers who served in it, almost 1,000 died. Completing Australia’s first national memorial to our brave men and women who volunteered to serve abroad is something that just has to be done."

According to Michael Crouch, the Commonwealth Government has contributed little so far towards the memorial other than allocation of the Canberra site and reimbursement of some costs of the design competition and government approvals.

Less than two years remain to raise the funds needed for completion of the memorial. No donations have been forthcoming from approaches to such entities as State Governments, the Anzac Centenary Fund and Department of Veterans’ affairs.

Additional information can be obtained from:
National Boer War Memorial Assn Inc, Victoria Barracks, 75 Oxford Street, Paddington NSW 2021 Telephone 02 8335 5209.
Michael Crouch AO, Fund Chairman,
Tony Larnach-Jones, National Secretary,

At the Fundraiser

 BWM QLD Commemorate the 113th Anniversary of the Battle of Onverwcht Hills

On a typical sunny and warm Brisbane morning on Tuesday 4th February, the Queensland Committee of the BWM Assoc assisted the Sherwood-Indooroopilly RSL Sub Branch to commemorate a Boer War battle that resulted in death of several local men - the Battle of Onverwacht Hills.

An audience of around 50 people attended the service held at Sherwood Cemetery where a fine sandstone monument was built by the local families early last century to honour those locals who died in the Boer War. The ceremony was led by MC Kevin Alcock who is both a BWM Qld Committee Member and the President of the Sherwood-Indooroopilly RSL Sub Branch. Our Padre Geoff Reader, a Boer War descendant, led the prayers. The keynote address was given by Major Lucas McEnnariey, the Ops Officer at 2nd/14th Light Horse (Qld Mounted Infantry) Regiment based at Brisbane’s Enoggera Barracks.

Over the years, the Sherwood-Indooroopilly RSL Sub-Branch has developed a close liaison with both nearby Corinda State High School and Ermelo High School in South Africa, located in the vicinity of the Battle of Onverwacht Hills. Each year students from both schools are invited to write an essay on a topic of relevance to the Boer War, this year’s winner from Corinda State High School is Karolina Judd, who read her essay to the audience; this (very good) essay will be printed in the next issue of Qld’s Monumentally Speaking Newsletter due for release in March 2015.

Wreaths were laid by several descendants representing the families of those who died at Onverwacht Hills, as well local Brisbane Councillors Nicole Johnston and Matthew Bourke and local Federal Members of Parliament, Jane Prentice MP and Graham Perrett MP.

At the Onverwacht commemoration At the Onverwacht commemoration
At the Onverwacht commemoration At the Onverwacht commemoration
 At the Onverwacht commemoration 

 Elands River Reception August 2014

14 August 2014 in the evening was our annual Elands River Reception at the Victoria Barracks Officers Mess. The principal guest was His Honour Mr Justice Thomas Bathurst AC, Chief Justice of NSW who spoke on the importance of the historic links between the military and judiciary in maintaining democracy in the country, the significance of the Boer War coming as it did across Federation and the importance of Elands River as a symbol of the coming Federation and referring to Jan Smuts’ assessment of the Australians at Elands River. In later discussions it emerged that an ancestor of his wife had served and quite possibly one of his. We will explore these connections further and His Honour was pleased to join our Newsletter list. We presented him with a notebook, keyring and BW tie. Overall a successful night although it will be a week or so before we have full figures but we should make about $3000 on the evening all sources. About half of that will go straight into Memorial funds. We thank our sponsor, Bruce Tyrrell of Tyrrell’s Wines and Dr Swartz of the Canberra Mercure

It was notable that several of our guests spoke of seeing the ABC segment on the pour of bronze for the first horseman and during the day I had had a Queensland lady ring me spurred on by the same item. Her ancestor was a British regular officer not previously identified as having connection with Australia. In addition in speaking with a guest of one of our descendants we discovered yet another Australian participant in the war that we previously knew nothing of so quickly signed him up and Paul sold him a tie.

I would particularly like to thank our chief organisers of the night Bernadette Mottram and Jilly Warren who did as usual a superb job. Thanks too for Tony in organising Tyrrell’s as our sponsor and Owen and Ina for organising the Mercure package

Finally I would like to thank those NSW and National committee who supported us by attending, John Haynes, Tony Larnach Jones, Ian Guild, Chris Dawson, Bill Molloy, Bernadette Mottram, Jilly Warren, Brian Walters, Owen Graham, Paul Lenehan and Ken Griffin. Finally I should mention the wonderful support that we always receive from the Mess staff.

David Deasey

 Banjo Patterson Turns 150 - 16 February 2014

NSW-NBWMA held a 150th birthday party as a fundraiser for the National Boer War Memorial at the Banjo Paterson Cottage Restaurant, Gladesville. The riverside sandstone cottage belonged to Paterson’s maternal grandmother and had been his home-away-from-Orange-home during his school years at Sydney Grammar.

Sydney weather turned unkind so the Banjo-themed entertainment and the fund-raiser auctions and raffles programmed for the picturesque lawns above the Parramatta River forced all 79 guests upstairs where there was breathing room only, giving new meaning to ‘intimate gathering’.

Fundraiser Patron Hon Tim Fischer AC gave the main address with his usual panache.

Nevertheless entertainers Harry and Margaret Terry gave rousing interpretations of many of Banjo’s works, and some serious thoughts from his reports as a war correspondent for the Fairfax papers in the first year of the Boer War. They led everyone in a lusty rendition of Waltzing Matilda to end the day.

The proceeds came to just on $5 000, a worthwhile contribution towards completing the sculpture of the first mounted trooper and a reminder that there are three more to complete the memorial.

The NSW Committee expresses thanks to Jilly Warren, who organised the function, an absolute dynamo. Thanks also to donors of items auctioned and raffled, and to the staff of the restaurant for their work in making the experience so pleasant for everyone despite the weather.

Please activate the button to your left to view a slide show of the event

 Onverwacht Hills Service 4 February 2014

 Descendant and Donor Reception 15 August 2013

On Thursday evening, 15 August 2013, the New South Wales committee held a reception for descendants and donors at Victoria Barracks Officers Mess, Paddington. The guest of honour was her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC,CVO, who delighted the 130 guests with her remarks on the importance of remembering the veterans and the significance of the descendants. Ten first generation descendants were in attendance. Brigadier Mike Prictor, Director General of training, represented the commander forces command. During the evening an original copy of Murray's official records was auctioned for the memorial funds. We thank Jilly Warren for the donation. The successful bidder was Mr Ian Haylen.

 Horseman readied for parade 26 June 2013

Eminent Melbourne sculptor Louis Laumen has begun work on a life-size model of an Australian mounted horseman to be installed at the proposed Boer War memorial on Anzac Parade. AND the National Boer War Memorial Association's petition for funding is delivered.

Labor and Liberal MPs united in Canberra on Monday to demonstrate the strong bipartisan support for the memorial.

The federal government has allocated land for the project and given $200,000 towards its construction.

The $4 million memorial will feature four life-size sculptures of horsemen to remember the 23,000 Australian men and women who served in the conflict in South Africa more than a century ago.

Veteran Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon, who was in Afghanistan last week, said Australia's involvement in the Boer War marked the start of a tradition of continuity of service through wars.

"It's not a war that is well known to many Australians, frankly, it's not taught about in schools that I can recall," he said.

"We might have heard of Breaker Morant but the conflict was not seen not as a mainstream part of our history.

"It ought to be so, I think we have a job ahead of us in making sure the community understands this is … the beginning of a military tradition in this great country of ours, which needs to be properly recognised and acknowledged.

"The striking design [of the memorial] is unlike any other on Anzac Parade because it gives you a visual comprehension of what these men were doing."

Nigel Webster, chairman of the ACT Boer War memorial committee, said fundraising was moving steadily forward.

"The Boer War is important to remember because it is the first war that Australians fought as a nation," he said.

"The memorial will commemorate the nearly 1000 Australians who made the supreme sacrifice in South Africa.

"The challenge was to strike a balance between the traditional and the modern, to make a memorial for the 21st century."

Ross Peake, Canberra Times 26 June 2013

 Boer War Day 2013

From Perth (East Johannesburg) on the west coast to Brisbane, our most easterly location, Boer War Day was commemorated across our nation on dates on or near 31 May 2013, the 111th anniversary of the signing of the treaty of Vereeniging to end the second Anglo – Boer War.

CLICK HERE for reports.

 ANZAC Day 2013

Descendants march in Sydney, and Reg Watson makes a splash with the Premier of Tasmania The Hon Lara Giddings MP.

 Indigenous Soldier Honoured

An indigenous Boer War veteran grave plaque dedication service was held in Perth at Karrakatta cemetery on 20 April 2013, for No. 9 PTE Searle 4WAMI. The service was organised by Honouring Indigenous War Graves.

 On Air - John Haynes on 2RPH

John Haynes made a radio appearance on 2RPH, Sydney, the text appears below. He extolls us all to call-up our local radio stations and get on air. He is happy with anyone plagiarising his work:

"DO YOU KNOW that on the day Australia became a nation in 1901 we were involved in South Africa, in what is now called the Boer War?

No less that 23,000 young people from Australia served there, and nearly 1,000 died during the war; that is more than the total deaths in all other wars except WW1 and WW11.

Australia’s first ever Victoria Cross was awarded there along with another 5 VC’s and 161 other bravery awards. They fought beside Kiwis so became our first ANZACs.

What an important part of Australia’s Military History!

DO YOU KNOW that despite this enormous commitment there is no memorial to the Boer War in our National Military Commemorative precinct in ANZAC Parade Canberra. Although all other wars are commemorated there?

BUT THERE IS HOPE because the Government has approved the erection of a Boer War Memorial in ANZAC Parade. The centre piece of the Design is section of mounted troopers mounted on four War Horses on patrol on the South African veldt.

Unfortunately, the necessary funds must come from the community. Your help is needed if the Boer War Memorial is to be finished before the ANZAC Centenary on 2015. To have the Centenary without a memorial to our very first war and its soldiers will surely be a national embarrassment.

However, you can assist. If you are descendant of a Boer War Veteran or would just like to contribute please register through the Web site at Registration is free and you will be sent newsletters to record progress of the project.

So if you are able to make a Tax deductable donation please do so, if you know of a company or individual who might like to donate, please alert us on (02) 8335 5209."

 Sons and Daughters Make a Site Pilgrimage

Sons and Daughters of Boer War Veterans formed part of a delegation of 15 who had travelled from Sydney to the meeting with the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs’ Chief of Staff Ross Bain, Political Advisor, Catherine Bergin and Dr Brendon Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial on Thursday 21 March 2012.

The delegation with the descendants consisted about 50-50 of the Reserve Forces Day Council and the National Boer War Memorial Association Some were members of both.

The meeting took place at Parliament House, and was followed by a visit to the site for the National Boer War Memorial on ANZAC Parade.

On the bus on the way back there was much discussion about how chuffed we all were to meet with Dr Brendon Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, to hear of his plans to improve the Boer War's presentation and especially to recognise its many contributions to the rapid evolution of the newly minted Australian Commonwealth forces in the short 12 year period in the lead up to WW1.

The delegation did not get to see the Boer War Exhibition at the Australian War Memorial.

 ABC TV News Coverage

ABC TV News had a great item on the Memorial, 15 January 2013 on the Reserve Forces Day Council initiative with First Generation Boer War descendants. Video courtesy the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

 Bi-Partisan Parliamentary Support 11 December 2012

>>Click Here to Download NBWMA Press Release<<

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs subscription list

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 (VA101)


A proposed memorial to honour the service and sacrifice of Australians who fought in the Boer War is a step closer to reality today, after being granted Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status by the Australian Taxation Office.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Warren Snowdon said that donations made to the National Boer War Memorial Association will be tax deductible for members of the public who wish to contribute towards the project.

The Gillard Labor Government is also contributing $200,000 in funding towards the memorial. The design for the memorial was unveiled in March 2012.

"The Boer War marked the start of our long and proud history of military service. The men and women involved in this conflict deserve to be remembered with a lasting and fitting tribute to their service and sacrifice,” he said.

The Boer War ran from 1899 to 1902, and saw servicemen from every colony, and after 1901 from every state, fight alongside each other for the first time in a war, with contingents being sent to South Africa before and after federation.

More than 16,000 Australians volunteered to fight for Britain in the war, with some 250 being killed in action and more than 260 dying of illness. Six Victoria Crosses were awarded to brave Australians for their efforts.

"I encourage all Australians to give generously to make the Boer War Memorial a reality, and see it take its place on Anzac Parade in Canberra alongside our other national memorials," Mr Snowdon said.

For more information on the Memorial or how to donate visit the National Boer War Memorial Association website at

For more information on Australia’s contribution to the Boer War visit the Australian War Memorial website

Media inquiries: Minister Snowdon: Marcus Butler 02 6277 7820 / 0417 917 796
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson
Liberal Senator for Victoria
Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition on the Centenary of ANZAC

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

National Memorials closer to development

The Coalition has expressed its ongoing support for the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project and the National Boer War Memorial following the granting of Deductible Gift Recipient Status for the projects.

Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, said the Coalition had been pursuing this issue for many months and that the granting of DGR status by the Government was better late than never.

'The Coalition has been a long-term proponent of these Memorials', Senator Ronaldson said.

'In 2006 the previous Coalition government provided seed funding support and an 18 month DGR status arrangement for the Peacekeeping Memorial project. Sadly, Labor discontinued the DGR status after 18 months.”

'We have also actively supported the Boer War Memorial and have expressed concerns about the Government’s reticence to provide seed funding support to the project.'

'The decision to now provide DGR Status will enable the Memorials’ proponents to seek corporate and private sponsorship to raise the funds necessary to see the Memorials completed.

The completion of these Memorials, which will face each other on ANZAC Parade in Canberra, will enhance the role of commemoration for all conflicts involving Australians along ANZAC Parade.'

Senator Ronaldson said the Coalition pursued the matter of the Memorials’ status with the Government during Senate Estimates in October this year and had written regularly to the Minister about the project.

'The Peackeeping Memorial will provide a place of lasting commemoration for those Australians who have served our nation in peacekeeping and peacemaking operations all around the world.

And the Boer War Memorial will ensure that Australia’s first conflict is appropriately commemorated in the national capital.'

I encourage all Australians to give generously so that this Memorial can be completed as quickly as possible', Senator Ronaldson said.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Hardie 0418 432 909

 Descendants Rally 2 November 2012

On Friday 2 November 2012, the Reserve Forces Day Council organised a rally for Boer War descendants in the theatrette of Parliament House, Sydney. Preceded by afternoon tea, it was an opportunity for federal and state politicians government and opposition to pledge their support for the erection of a National Memorial “subject to the availability of funds given the current difficult economic circumstances”.

To set the scene, Les Perret, Author and Boer War descendant gave a short talk on the course of the war.

Those present were also given an opportunity to see a Boer War veteran, viewing this video of Ash Whitney taken in 1975.

The Chairman of the National Boer War Memorial Committee and National President of the RSL laid a wreath at the launch of Reserve Forces Day at the Sydney Boer War Memorial later in November.

 In the Sydney Morning Herald - Monday 29 October 2012

FOR Barbara Horgan, the push for a national memorial to commemorate the Australians who fought and died in the Boer War is extremely personal.

Both her father, Alured Kelly, pictured, and her maternal grandfather, William Newman, fought in the battle with 16,000 others, but their efforts have never been formally recognised in Canberra's military memorial precinct, Anzac Parade.

"They would have wanted it," Ms Horgan said.

"Not a lot is known about many Australians who fought and died there and they were responsible for some remarkable feats. The only thing people really remember about the Boer War is the execution of soldier Breaker Morant."

The three-year conflict is the only major battle that does not have a memorial in the precinct. The National Boer War Memorial Association was allocated a site in 2006 by the National Capital Authority, but it has not been able to raise enough funds to build a memorial.

The national president of the association, John Haynes, said they had asked the federal government for funds but despite having donated to memorials for the other conflicts they "had not contributed one cent" to the Boer War Memorial.

A design has already been approved and the association needs to raise $150,000 by the end of November so it can be completed in time for the Centenary of ANZAC in 2015.

The Boer War was fought from 1899 to 1902 and was responsible for the third largest loss of Australian life in conflict. Six Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross and almost 1000 - all volunteers - were killed.

Mr Kelly's memoirs are kept at the Australian War Memorial library.

He wrote that he "took no more than a passing interest" in the war between England and the South African Republic. He decided to enlist after a visit to a tailor who "casually" asked him if he would mind going to the South African war. "I just as casually replied that I would not mind … "

Mr Kelly returned home. Now his daughter, Ms Horgan, will join hundreds of others on Friday at a rally at NSW Parliament House to draw attention to the situation. "We should remember the contribution made, especially by Australian horsemen who in that war showed their true talents to the rest of the world."

 Lt Caskey Memorial Re-Dedicated - PTE Forsyth Honoured

23 September 2012

LT John Caskey memorial in Toowong Cemetery in Brisbane, commemoration of the 110th Anniversary of his death. he was killed on 27 Sept 1901 in Mohari Drift. As the plaque below also acknowledges, this is a very significant memorial as it was the first erected in Queensland for the Boer War. The symbols on the memorial reflect Caskey's military, scholastic and sporting achievements.


The memorial has recently been restored at the behest of the National Boer War Memorial Association, primarily due to the efforts of Miles Farmer.

The restoration work was undertaken by Queensland Heritage Masonry at a cost of $8,210. The National Boer War Memorial Association acknowledges generous contributions from the Queensland State Government, RSL Qld Brisbane North District, Kedron-Wavell RSL Sub-Branch, Sherwood-Indooroopilly RSL Sub-Branch, and support from the Friends of Toowoong Cemetery.

CLICK HERE to download order of service.

CLICK HERE to view a video of the Channel 7 coverage.

 Reserve Forces Day Helps Out  

This year, Reserve Forces Day not only helped to raise the profile of the Boer War, and need to have a National Memorial by having the Boer War as theme; commemorative medallion sales yielded the largest single contribution ($38,000) to memorial funding. Medallions were bought by descendants and supporters and presentation ceremonies organised wherever there was a Reserve Forces Day parade, and at other locations; including Tshwane (Pretoria) South Africa where presentations were organised for a tour group of Australians to have theirs presented by the head of tourism for the Tshwane City Council. All presentations were made by a prominent person.

The photos above, show clockwise from top left: Colonel Bill Molloy receives his medallion on 31 May 2012 outside Melrose House where the peace treaty was signed 100 years ago to the day; Senator Matt Thistlethwaite presents medallions at the Reserve Forces Day parade Sydney 1 July 2012; Judith Higson receives her medallion at the Federal Parliamentary Offices, Sydney 16 July 2012; Major Frank Woodhams, Reserve Forces Day Council Treasurer looks on as Senator Matt Thistlethwaite on behalf of the Reserve Forces Day Council congratulates Colonel John Haynes president of the National Boer War Memorial Association after the presentation of the unprecedented donation.

The Reserve Forces Day Council has now formed a group consisting of Reserve Forces Day Council and National Boer War Memorial Association members to assist with continuing funding initiatives. The commemorative medallions will continue to be sold CLICK HERE for details, and the Military History Tour of the South African Boer War sites will again include medal presentations at Melrose House on 31 May 2013, CLICK HERE for details.

 Boer War Day Posters for 2012

Now the design has been approved the Boer War Day posters for 2012 have a new look. Use the links below to download a poster for your comemoration.


DOWNLOAD A4 Poster with white box for your town's name

DOWNLOAD A5 Poster two up

 Commemoration of Onverwacht Hills Battle 2012

A Commemoration Ceremony was held at Sherwood QLD Cemetery on the 4 February 2012, commencing at 10:00am. This ceremony commemorated the 110th anniversary of the last major battle of the conflict at Onverwacht Hills. The ceremony was conducted by Sherwood Indooroopilly RSL with the support of the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment.

Please activate the button to your left to view a slide show of the proceedings

 Reserve Forces Day 2012 Launch - November 2011  

The 110th Anniversary of the Boer War is the theme for Reserve Forces Day 2012. Reserve Forces Day is held near 1 July every year to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who serve part-time in Australia's armed forces. The Boer War was for the most part fought by Australian soldiers who fall into this category.

Reserve Forces Day 2012 was launched in Parliament House, Sydney on Saturday 26 November 2011. Colonel John Haynes OAM, Ret'd President of the National Boer War Memorial Association Inc was invited to address the launch function. Activate the controls below to see and hear what was said.

Other speeches made at the Reserve Forces Day launch, and the parade featuring Boer War Soldier's descendants can be accessed on the Reserve Forces Day Website CLICK_HERE.

 Commemoration of Onverwacht Hills Battle 2011

A Commemoration Ceremony was held at Sherwood QLD Cemetery on the 4 February 2011, commencing at 10:00am. This ceremony commemorates the last major battle of the conflict at Onverwacht Hills. The ceremony was conducted by Sherwood Indooroopilly RSL with the support of the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment. The day was a great success but the floods still left a cloud over the function. The Queensland BWM Banner was proudly shown on the day.

 Boer War Day Posters for 2011

The Boer War Day commemorates the first war in which Australia fought as a nation. In 1899 NSW troops were the first to join in this war followed by all of the other colonies and after Federation in 1901 Australian units took part. The Boer War was also the first war in which Australians fought alongside New Zealanders.

The 31st May is the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging that ended the South African War in 1902. Boer War Day itself is held on the Sunday before 31st May (ie 27th May 2012)to enable working people to attend. Throughout NSW there are some 145 memorials that were erected during and soon after the Boer War. Boer War Day is celebrated where there are Boer War memorials or where there are groups of descendants and friends.

Some cities and towns may choose celebrate Boer War Day on another day near 31st May to suit their circumstances.

Boer War Day Posters

These posters are available for your use:


CLICK HERE to download printable .pdf of poster without border.

CLICK HERE to download printable .pdf of poster with border.

Use a .pdf Text edititor to over-write "Our Town" with the town/city name.

 Inaugural Annual General Meeting 6 February 2011

Inaugural meeting of the National Boer War Memorial Association Inc, 6 Feb 2011, Victoria Barracks, Paddington 2021 Standing, from left: Ross Brown (Treasurer), Chris Dawson (Media Secretary), Miles Farmer (Qld Rep), Bob Guest (Funding), Michael Beinke (Political and ADF), Tony Larnach-Jones (Public Officer), Les Perrett (NSW C'tee), Owen Graham (NSW C'tee), Paul Lenehan (NSW C'tee), Ian Spence (CDF's Rep), Ken Griffin (NSW C'tee), Chris Jocelyn (Sth Australian Rep) Kneeling from left: John Haynes (Chairman), John Howells (Webmaster), John Neenan (States & Territories Coordinator).

Keith Smith (NSW C'tee) was also at the meeting, but is not in the photo.

 Nurse added to St Vincent’s Hospital Honour Board 9 August 2010

The name of Nurse Mary Julia Anderson was unveiled in a brief ceremony at St Vincent’s Public Hospital on Monday 9 August 2010 before an appreciative gathering of 38. Nurse Anderson trained at St Vincent’s before moving to Melbourne where she joined the 3rd Imperial Bushmen bound for South Africa. The dedication was organised by staff member Maj Bernadette Mottram, who is also a member of the NSW Committee of the National Boer War Memorial Association.

A strong showing of serving Navy nursing staff from the RAN’s hospital within St Vincent’s lent special poignancy to the occasion. Hosting the ceremony, the hospital’s CEO, Mr Steven Rubic, noted the long history of St Vincent’s involvement with the armed services and thanked his staff for their work in first discovering Mary Julia Anderson’s story, making it known and now memorialised.

Chairman of the NSW BWM Committee, Lt Col Tony Larnach-Jones, briefly outlined Australia’s participation in the Boer War and especially the service of the 60 nurses from all states who, working in primitive conditions by modern standards, contributed to the highest survival rate of wounded and sick soldiers of any war to that time.

Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Member for Wentworth, noted the long history of St Vincent’s in war and peace and congratulated the Boer War Memorial Association in working towards erecting a national BW memorial in Canberra. He offered his support in the project. He paid special tribute to Nurse Mary Julia Anderson whose name is now added to the St Vincent’s Role of Honour Board, as a courageous woman who answered the call in 1900 to serve in South Africa.

Fr Laurie Christi gave the prayer of dedication. Guests viewed the Honour Board and chatted over a delightful morning tea.

 Boer War Day 2010

Please activate the button to your left to view Channel Ten's video coverage of Boer War Day in Perth and Melbourne. Courtesy Channel 10

Please mouse-over pictures for captions.

Beecroft  Brisbane  Hobart  Melbourne  Molong  Nowra  Orange  Parramatta  Perth  Quirindi  StMarys  Sydney  Windsor  Wollongong

At Beecroft NSW

At 1400hrs over 120 people were present to pay their respects together with Epping RSL sub Branch President John Curdie AM, Hornsby Shire Council Mayor Nick Berman, local MP Greg Smirh SC MP, Felicity Findlay ( deputy for Federal MP Hon P Ruddock) and the two special relations, of Pte D. Willis and Major General C F Cox.

A Cataflaque party from 22 Cadet Sqn RAAF was in attendance while Bugler Jeanie Hope played last Post and Rouse. Council also assisted in closing the traffic for the duration of the Ceremony.

Council Mayor welcomed members and guests which was followed by a prologue by RSL President John Curdie. Remembrance prayers were offered by Beecroft Rev Geoff Collison.

After floral tributes were made, the National Anthem concluded the Ceremony. As a fitting tribute to this unique Service, "Soldiers of the Qieen" was played, with a vote of thanks made by Committee member Adrian Mitchell, for those that contributed to this Unique Ceremony.

Afternoon tea was served in the adjacent Beecroft Community centre.


At Brisbane QLD

A really great family day at Fort Lytton near Brisbane.

Please activate the button to your left to view the ABC coverage of the day. (Video courtesy of the ABC. Photos Bill Cross)
Please activate the button to your left to view a slideshow prepared by the Queensland National Boer War Memorial Committee

And MORE - the National Boer War Memorial Association ceremony in Brisbane on 31 May assisted by the 2nd/14th Light Horse (Queensland Mounted Infantry).


Photos: Colleen O'Leary

At Hobart TAS

The Annual Boer War Memorial Service was held at the Boer War Memorial, Queen's Domain, Hobart on Sunday 6th June. This is the 8th year on which the service has been held. It is not arranged by the State Committee, but privately by Historian Reg Watson. A service will be held in Launceston next Sunday.

Approximately 70 persons attended the service including direct relatives of Boer War veterans. Among those present were the Acting Lord Mayor of Hobart, the Deputy Mayor of Clarence Municipality, the Mayor of the Southern Midlands, whose grandfather, Tpr Bisdee won the VC, President of the Naval, Military and Air Force Club of Tasmania, Chris Oakes Deputy State President of the RSL, who kindly took the pictures.

A mounted horse guard in authentic uniform was accompanied by a small foot guard in similar dress, both supplied by the Historical Arms and Memorabilia Society of Tasmania. The Clarence City Council Band attended together with a piper from the Tasmanian Police Pipe Band.

The memorial itself is one of eight Boer War Memorials spread throughout Tasmania.

Report: Peter Patmore; Photos: Chris Oakes

At Melbourne VIC

There was a most impressive Boer War Day ceremony at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance on 30 May.


Report courtesy Bill Woolmore

At Molong NSW

Molong's Boer War Day Ceremony was held at the RSL CLub Auditorium at 12 noon on Sunday, 30 May, and was conducted by Mr Bob Adams, Molong RSL Sub-Branch Chairman. Mrs Anne Marie Ingham spoke about Peter Cameron, from Euchareena, who served in the Boer War & also World War One. Peter's portrait was the first she painted for the Molong & Distraict Servicemen & Servicewomen's Portrait Gallery for which she has now completed fifty portraits. Mr Robert Ellis then spoke about those who served in the Boer War from Molong, soldiers & one nurse.

Helen Haynes

At Nowra NSW

Boer War Day was marked at Nowra with a service at the memorial in Rauch Park, Junction Street. Nowra-Greenwell Point RSL Sub-branch president, Fred Dawson said that it was the first time in living memory that a service had been held locally to honour that conflict. However he said it had not been forgotten, for RSL member Ted Regan, OAM had made a point of laying a wreath there each Anzac Day. Mr Dawson said it was appropriate that Major Gary Craig should assist in the service for the Salvation Army had supported the soldiers in the Boer War. The representative gathering at the service included members of the RSL sub-branches between Gerringong and Sussex Inlet. After the laying of wreaths by civic and returned service representatives, Peter Williams played the Last Post on his bugle that dates back to the Boer War.

Courtesy South Coast Register

At Orange NSW

The ceremony at Orange was on as bleak a day as only orange can produce. Twenty five souls braved the conditions. Our photos show those who were there and Councillor Reg Kidd - Orange City Council and Les McGaw - Orange RSL laying a wreath in remembrance.

At Parramatta NSW

Visitors to the New South Wales Lancer's Museum, Parramatta NSW had a great day on 30 May 2010.

150 adult visitors and 200 cubs were able to check out the magnificent display, and use the available resources to research the history of their family's involvement in the war.

At Perth WA

There was great weather for the 2010 Boer War Day celebrations in Perth WA. It took place at the Kings Park Boer War Memorial, officially called "The South African War Memorial". It was so named by King George V when as HRH Duke of Cornwall and York he laid the foundation stone of this memorial during the actual conflict in July 1901.


Photos - Howard Angel

Western Australia's Boer War Day event organising committee (Kevin Bovill, Maurice Kissane, John Sweetman):

At Quirindi NSW

A great ceremony at their memorial, with two new names added; followed by an excellent lunch, at which Dorothy Durrant’s new book was launched. Book Launch guest speaker, Len Rowarth, was one of the seven out of Tpr Farquhar George Williamson’s 26 descendants who attended the Boer War Day ceremony at Quirindi’s magnificent memorial clock tower. Photos courtesy The Quirindi Advocate 2 June 2010.

At StMarys NSW

The St Marys RSL put on a great show to commemorate Boer War Day 2010

Photos - Tony Fryer

At Sydney NSW

A solemn and moving ceremony of remembrance for the commemoration of Boer War Day in Sydney, including coverage by the Army Newspaper.


Photos - Keith Smith

At Windsor NSW

A little damp, though nonetheless a great Boer War Day celebration at Windsor NSW.

At Wollongong NSW

Wollongong RSL celebrated Boer War Day by a wreath laying at the TPR Frank Andrews memorial, McCabe Park Wollongong. The sub-branch is organising for lettering on the memorial to be re-furbished.

Photos: Mark Edwell

 Successful Launch of the National Boer War Memorial Design Competition

The National Boer War Memorial Design Competition was successfully launched at the Royal Military College Duntroon Officers' Mess by Lieutenant General David Hurley AO DSC, Vice Chief of the Defence Force soon after 10:00h on Wednesday 7 April 2010. The competition will be open for interested parties to register until 11 May 2010, with entries to be submitted by 11:00h on 18 May 2010.


Please activate the button to your left to view a video of speechs by Dr Wilcox, LTGEN Hurley and COL Haynes.

 A Petition before Parliament for a Pardon for Lieutenants Morant, Handcock and Witton

On 26 October 2009, a petition for a Pardon for Lieutenants Morant, Handcock and Witton raised by Commander James Unkles (Legal Officer RANR) of Chirnside Park VIC was tabled in the Australian House of Representatives.

CLICK HERE for Details.

 Lieutenant Grieve Memorial Rededication 31 May 2009

Following a successful dedication of the National Boer War Memorial site in Canberra on 31 May 2008; in 2009 the 107th Anniversary of the treaty of Vereeniging in 1902 was celebrated by the re-dedication of the memorial to Lieutenant Gideon Grieve at Watson’s Bay near Sydney on Sunday 31 May.

Lieutenant Grieve was killed on 18 February 1900 at Paardeberg South Africa attempting to save the life of one of his soldiers when as a New South Wales Military Forces Special Service Officer he was in command of H Company 2nd Battalion the Black Watch. Lieutenant Grieve, aged 36 left a wife and two orphan children in Sydney.

On 22 December 1900 his comrades from the NSW Scottish Rifles dedicated a memorial to the late Lieutenant. It was marvellous, a marble sheathed plinth surmounted with a stone domed drinking fountain, topped with a bronze statue of Lieutenant Grieve in the uniform of the NSW Scottish Rifles. Sadly the statue was removed and destroyed by local hooligans within a few months of the dedication, and a few years after that the drinking fountain ceased to function. The current monument is thus but a vestige of the original. Well maintained by Woollahra Council, however, it still impresses as it stands sentinel near the heads through which many Australians have passed on their way to battle.

On a bleak, cold and windy day, Lieutenant Grieve’s relatives, other descendants of those who served, members of the National and New South Wales Boer War Memorial committees, and their supporters braved the elements to witness the re-dedication.

All present were welcomed by Lieutenant Colonel Tony Lanarch-Jones (Retired) chairman of the NSW Committee. Councillor Andrew Petrie, Mayor of Woollahra spoke of the significance of this memorial to the citizens of Woollahra and offered the Council’s support for the construction of a memorial to those who served in the Boer War at ANZAC Parade Canberra. Colonel Donald Ramsey OAM told of Gideon Grieve’s life from his birth in Scotland, his service with the New South Wales Scottish Rifles, his leadership, bravery, and finally his gallant death in South Africa. Colonel Ramsey also emphasised Mr Grieve’s legacy, his family, the Scott’s College Cadets he helped form, and the example he set to be followed by so many Australians in conflicts from Gallipoli to the present day in Afghanistan.


Former Mayor of Woollahra, Lieutenant Chris Dawson (Retired) gave a brief summary of the war in South Africa; followed by details of the National Boer Memorial project from Tony Lanarch-Jones. A brief rededication service was then conducted by the Reverend Cliff Parish. Brian Walters, Secretary of the Royal New South Wales Lancers Association read the ode, followed by the Last Post, silence and Rouse (courtesy Musician Chris Graham). After this the Grieve family (Flight Lieutenant Hamish Grieve, Josephine Grieve, and Luna Rodrigues-Grieve) spoke of what their ancestor’s service meant to the family. Nicola Grieve acknowledged the original owners of the land. The ceremony concluded with the National Anthem played by WO1 Bill Campbell OAM (Piper) and Drummer Arthur Robinson. After the ceremony refreshments were served at St Peters Church Hall nearby.


Our Master of Ceremonies was Lieutenant Ken Griffin (Retd).

Please activate the button below for a short video of the highlights of the ceremony.

 Site Dedication 31 May 2008

National Boer War Memorial Site Dedication

At 11:00 am on Saturday 31 May 2008, the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging that ended the South African war in 1902, the site for the Australian National Boer War Memorial was dedicated. It commemorates the 23,000 Australians who fought.

The allocated area is on the western side of the ceremonial avenue between the existing New Zealand and Australian Light Horse memorials.

The ceremony was simple blessing and dedicating the site, Major Robert Morrison was Master of Ceremonies The Hon Bob McMullen MP representing the Prime Minister officially launched the National Boer War Memorial project. Speeches were given by members of the National Boer War Memorial committee who covered in detail what our countrymen did in South Africa. Ground was held by two light horse re-enactors from the Australian Light horse Association and a catafalque party from the Federation Guard. The ceremony lasted 30 minutes.

Those present included: Mrs Valerie Howse OAM - a great lady 90 years young, her three sons and families all descendents of Captain Neville Howse VC (later Maj Gen Howse VC , KCMG,KCB, K StJ, doctor, mayor of Orange, politician and Minister for Defence) the first Australian to be awarded the Victoria Cross; Mrs Gwen Dempsey whose husband was related to Lieutenant Peter Handcock; and Mrs Lyn Hammett, related to SSM Hammett Bushveldt Carbineers and 9th Lancers.

589 of our countrymen lost their lives – the greatest number of Australian dead after the thousands lost in two World Wars. Five hundred members of the Queensland Mounted Infantry and the NSW Lancers took part in the forced march to relieve Kimberley.

The memorial will ensure that those who fought in South Africa are commemorated in a way, which will preserve this aspect of our heritage and military history for the education and benefit of future generations of Australians. The Boer War was the first full commitment of troops by all the Australian Colonies to a foreign war and with the formation of the Australian Commonwealth on 1 January 1901 it became our country’s first military involvement as a nation.

This war and deeds of those Australian volunteers is the only major war not to be commemorated in Anzac Parade, Canberra. More Australians were lost than in Vietnam, making the Boer War the third most devastating war after the two world wars. It has taken too long for Australia to recognise these sacrifices.

The memorial will be a long overdue national commemoration to honour our Boer War servicemen and nurses. It is an investment in our history and culture.

 Launceston Examiner 11 June 2007

Ceremony honours 40 who died in "forgotten" war

ONE hundred and five years ago this month a war thousands of kilometres away came to an end.

The Boer War claimed the lives of 40 Tasmanians and those deaths were honoured in an inaugural commemorative day in Launceston yesterday.

About 20 people attended the ceremony at the Boer War memorial in City Park, led by military historian Reg Watson.

Mr Watson said 900 Tasmanians volunteered to fight in support of the British Empire in South Africa during 1899-1902 and 40 were killed.

The war had a big impact on the then colony of Tasmania.

"This is why we are here to pay homage, to show our respect and honour their bravery, " he said.

"And even after 105 years, to show them our love and in that, we have not forgotten them."

The service was supported by Youngtown Army Cadets Drum Cpl Sam Chynoweth, piper Lt Fraser Murray, Lt Carrie Stevens and cenotaph guards Cpl Nathan Alexander and Cadet Raymond Russell.

Mr Watson said his grandfather served with the 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen or TIBs.

"It's been my object I guess for 25 to 30 years, to have Tasmanians remember our participation in that war," he said.

"It's been caled the forgotten war for good reason - because it's been overshadowed by World War I."

Mr Watson said he would like the service to become an annual event in Launceston.

- Michael Lowe

Launceston Boer War Memorial

 Hobart Mercury 4 June 2007

THE new generation of Tasmanians should be taught about the sacrifices their ancestors made during the often-forgotten Boer War, the organiser of yesterday's commemorative service says.

Almost 900 Tasmanians were sent to fight in the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa between 1899 and June 1, 1902. Nearly 40 of them never made it home, dying in action or from disease, and are buried in South Africa.

The man behind Hobart's fifth annual Boer War Commemorative Day, local war historian Reg Watson, said young Tasmanians should take an interest in the event, the way they have in ANZAC Day.

"The ANZAC parades right around Australia are growing in interest with the younger people," he said.

"One of the main messages I'd like to get out to Tasmanians is that you probably have an ancestor who fought in the Boer War. There'd be thousands and thousands of Tasmanians in that category.

"We need to attract the younger generation and it's probably just (a matter of raising) awareness that their families have been involved in the Boer War."

Mr Watson said the Boer conflict did not deserve to be the "forgotten war".

"Even though there is some criticism -- 'Tasmanians shouldn't have been there, what the heck were we in South Africa for?' -- the fact is that it's a major part of our history," he said. "But it was overshadowed by World War I and quickly forgotten."

A commemorative service will be held in Launceston for the first time this year. It will be at the Boer War memorial in Launceston's City Park from noon on Sunday.


Photos Chad Sutton


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