The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Boer War Day 2018

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Biskin AC has kindly provided a message to be read at Boer War Day ceremonies in 2018. CLICK HERE to download.


 Brisbane, Sunday 27 May 2018 go to top of page

It is now 119 years since Queensland first served with distinction in the South African War. All in all, some 23,000 young Australians served and about 1,000 were killed in action or died in service. The new Queensland committee, are dedicated to evolve from the building of a memorial, to an association committed to maintaining the memory and history of the Boer War (the 'Fathers of ANZACs').

Traditionally, Queensland held the 'Boer War Day Commemoration Service' on the 31st May, to coincide with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging on 31st May 1902. However, this year the 'Boer War Day Commemoration Service' was held at the Brisbane 'Shrine of Remembrance and Eternal Flame', Sunday 27th May, 2018 at 10:00 am. All future services will be held on the last Sunday of May.

Brisbane had experienced light rain the days leading up to the day. However, on the day, the weather was cool and pleasant with the sun shining in full glory and remained as such for the entire service. It could not have been more perfect. Ironically, it started drizzling ever so lightly, once the service had ended. One could be forgiven thinking it had all been pre-arranged as such.

CAPT Bill Cross OAM (Retd) RAAC, was our esteemed master of ceremonies. The prayers were given by Fr Geoff Reeder. Messages from our Governor General, His Excellency, General Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC, and our National Patron, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, Chief of the Defence Force, were read by LTCOL Ron McElwaine, OAM, RFD, ED (Retd), RAEME, National Committee Vice President (NBWMA).

The Key Address was delivered by MAJGEN Professor John Pearn, AO, GCStJ, RFD (Retd), Patron NBWMA (QLD). Banjo Patterson's 'Last Parade' was read by Bruno Oliveira (Cultural Captain - Aspley State High School). Singing of the National Anthem was led by Rachel Augustine (Captain Aspley State High School); accompanied by the Corinda State High School Senior Vocal Ensemble and Corinda State High School Symphonic Band.

Venturer and Rover Scouts assisted with the handing out of programmes, as well as the lowering and raising of flags before and after the service. The 2nd/14th LHR (QMI) provided the 'Catafalque Party'.

Wreaths were laid by distinguished guests and others: 2nd/14th LHR (QMI), Brisbane City Council; National Vice President (NBWMA); NBWM Project Manager (Boer War Memorial Canberra); State President RSL (Queensland) & Deputy National President RSL; President SED (South Eastern District) RSL; Deputy #45; President BND (Brisbane North District) RSL; Sherwood-Indooroopilly RSL; President 'The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship'; Chairman SAMVOA (South African Military Veterans Organisation of Australasia); Former Assistant Commissioner of the BSAP (British South Africa Police) & Patron of the RVA (Rhodesian Veterans Association); President RVA (Rhodesian Veterans Association); Chief Commissioner of Scouts Queensland; Former Commanding Officer of 2nd/14th Queensland Mounted Infantry (QMI); Corinda State High School and Aspley State High School.

Music was provided by the Corinda State High School Symphonic Band. The piper was 'Piper Joe' (Joe McGhee) and the bugle calls including 'Sunset' were played by bugler, Mr Ray Koenig.

Of the 150 programmes printed and bound, less than 10 remain. We have had many, very positive comments made on a very moving, informative and well organised service. The Band, Scouts, Singers, Piper, Bugler, Speakers and our much esteemed and honoured Distinguished Guests all helped to make the service meaningful and memorable.

The hurdle may be set high. However, I believe the positive comments, have made our focus worth-while. The legacy and sacrifices, made by our descendants, need to be remembered and remain with us forever.

Their ideal is our legacy - Their sacrifice our inspiration - At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them - 'Lest we Forget'.

Brisbane Boer War Day 2018

 Canberra, Sunday 27 May 2018 go to top of page

The ACT 2018 Boer War Day Ceremony will be held at 1400h on SUN 27 May 2018 at the St John the Baptist Anglican Church Reid ACT and at the NBWM site.

The principal ADF Guest will be MAJGEN Iain Spence CSC, RFD with support from B SQN 1/15 RNSWL and a small mounted detachment from the ALHA in period uniforms.

 Hobart, Sunday 3 June 2018 go to top of page

For this year only, the annual BOER WAR COMMEMORATIVE DAY was held first Sunday in June at the cenotaph instead of the Boer War Memorial on the Queen's Domain. This was because of the building of the pedestrian bridge being erected over the Tasman Highway.

The day was sunny, a little windy, and chilly. Nonetheless attendances were good, with great voluntary participation and a record number of wreaths being laid. MC for the day was Mayor Richard James. It is the fifteenth time it has been held in Hobart.

In his address Organiser, Reg Watson, spoke of his previous trip to Canberra at the unveiling of the National Boer War Memorial situated along the ANZAC Parade, a memorial, which he praised greatly.

He also mentioned the part Major General Sir John Gellibrand played during the Boer War (1899-1902) and post war.

The Governor–General, Sir Peter Cosgrove's message for the day was read with the MC reciting the well known "Soldier's Prayer". Many Councils were represented including the three Services when laying wreaths. The Hon Elise Archer MP did so on behalf of the State Government, with Alison Standing representing the State Opposition. Terry Roe did like wise for the Tasmanian RSL. Lone Piper Peter Frethey played the lament.

"Hopefully it will be back to our usual site in 2019," said Reg. "Whilst the cenotaph is a great spot, we do belong to the Memorial which was purposefully built for such an occasion."

Music was provided by the Hobart Veterans' Brass Band.


The following Saturday Reg Watson travelled to Wynyard where he had the honour of giving the public address at the unveiling at ANZAC PARK of a memorial to Lance Corporal Francis Gilbert Cowell. He also had the honour in unveiling the plaque together with Deputy Mayor of the Municipality, Mary Duniam.

Francis Gilbert Cowell was part of the 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen who served in South Africa and who died because of enteric fever November 25, 1901.

Tasmanian Boer War Day 2018 Tasmanian Boer War Day 2018

All enquiries to Organiser, Reg Watson 0409 975 587

 Launceston, Sunday 17 June 2018 go to top of page

Good weather brought out record crowds on the third Sunday for the ceremony in City Park Launceston 17th June.

The ceremony, held at the impressive Boer War Memorial, was a colourful display with the Northern Tasmanian Light Horse on parade for the first time. The Launceston City RSL Band played Victorian and Edwardian airs, while Lone Piper, John Forden played the lament during the laying of the many wreaths.

Organiser of the event, Reg Watson, said that it was the twelfth time it has been held in the northern city.

"I know it is a cliché, but this year's ceremony was the best ever, the best attended and the most colourful.

"All who participate do so voluntary and the event is well accepted in Launceston, with people now coming from along the north west coast to attend," he said.

Well known northern identity, Dr Frank Madill was MC for the day while Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten laid a wreath on behalf of the Launceston City Council.

"It was the first time the three military services attended which was marvellous," added Mr Watson.

The Royal Australian Air Force cadets mounted the guard with Mr Watson providing the address.

"It was a great success and we are looking for a repeat for 2019," he said.

All enquiries to Organiser, Reg Watson 0409 975 587

 Melbourne, Sunday 27 May 2018 go to top of page

ANZAC Day March 2018. The National Boer War Memorial Association Victoria will have two banners positioned at the front of the parade. We need 12 Scouts and Guides and Descendants to carry these banners. The Boer War Descendant Banner that all descendant can march behind will be position later in the march Contact:- Peter Wilmot 0408137874.

Boer War Day Service at the Shrine of Remembrance Sunday 27 May 2018 at 12 noon. The annual service to commemorate the signing of the Peace Treaty of Vereening on 31 May 1902 and the memory of the 23,000 men and women and the 1,000 that paid the supreme sacrifice. The march will commence from the Shrine lower forecourt on ANZAC Avenue up to the Perpetual Flame. Supported by the Creswick Light Horse, Historical Re-enactment Society of Australia, Australian Great War Association, Rats of Tobruk Pipes and Drums, the Salvation Army, Scouts and Guides.

DOWNLOAD the programme.

Contact:- Peter Wilmot 0408137874

 Nowra, Sunday 3 June 2018 go to top of page

Did you know that 80 Shoalhaven residents fought in the Boer War?

Well, they did and a memorial in Nowra's Rauch Park honours their efforts and sacrifices.

A service to mark Boer War Day was held on Sunday, 3 June, 1600 at Rauch Park Nowra and the public attended. Lieutenant Commander Jodie Turkenburg will give the address.

Australia, as part of the Brittish Empire, was dragged into the Boer War against the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. It was fought between 11 October 1899, to 31 May 1902.

The late Keith Paterson's book 'South Africa The Volunteers War' traces the local connection to the Boer War. The book, which took Mr Paterson four years to complete, tells the stories of the boys from the Shoalhaven district in the South African war from 1899 to 1902.

Having learnt the history of the memorial, Mr Paterson then set about finding out more about the 80 Shoalhaven residents who fought in the war.

More than 45,000 British Empire troops were engaged in South Africa, including 16,000 from Australia in official contingents, while another 6,000 made their way to the war separately to join the South African regular units.

Nowra Boer War Day 2018 Nowra Boer War Day 2018
Nowra Boer War Day 2018 Nowra Boer War Day 2018

Courtesy South Coast Register

 Perth, Sunday 27 May 2018 go to top of page

116th Anniversary of the signing of the Vereeniging Peace Accords annual commemoration and reconciliation service: Kings Park-Perth WA.

Perth was in the throes of receiving some much needed winter rains as our annual service was being conducted. Except for one brief squall dampening the some 100-120 attendees, we were spared the torrential showers of the previous day and sunshine again prevailed. In spite of more than the usual challenges facing the organizing committee (our Treasurer flying back in from Manila in the early hours of the morning and the secretary being more befuddled than usual ) it all came together on the day due in no small degree to the adroit management of our MC, Col Mike Page RFD,ADC

Senator Linda Reynolds CSC (Brig Rtd) fresh from a resounding win in her party's pre-selection jousting was our keynote speaker for the day (our first female ever speaker) and she delivered a well-pitched delivery on how the (convict) character of the nation shaped both the Boer War veterans and the ethos of future generations of Australian service men and women and laid the foundations of what was to become forged at Gallipoli and known as "The Spirit of ANZAC".

With our regular chaplain travelling overseas the Rev Ian MacPherson, a Retired Navy Chaplain from the Uniting Church in Australia performed admirably in his stead.

We were fortunate to have something of a Commonwealth naval trifecta with Commander Darren White RAN representing Captain Brian Delamont, Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling, LT CDR Leon Harvey RNZN, representing the government and the people of New Zealand and the NZDF and Lieutenant Commander Oliver Nokes, Royal Navy representing Her Majesty's Armed forces and HMG. The venerable Mr Peter Ramsay BEM doubling up with grandparental duties represented the RNZRSA and helped keep the quot;NZquot; in ANZAC front and centre with LTCOL Campbell Waterman representing the Commander 13 Bde, BRIG Charles Moore and FLTLT Dan Hodgson and CPL Shaun Murphy doing the honours for the CO RAAF Base Pearce, Wing Commander Brett Mitchell. (it was decidedly non-flying weather.

Among our elected representatives were Senator Linda Reynolds, aspirant Patrick Gorman, Mr Mark Folkard MLA, the Member for Burns Beach and Liza Harvey MLA Member for Scarborough(another of our staunch supporters) all laying wreaths on behalf of their respective parties.

Our old stalwarts from the South African Veterans of Australasia (SAMVOA) were again out in strength, with Vrouw Yolande de Klerk and her daughter both in period costume laying the Emily Hobhouse Wreath, as were the Rhodesians with Mr Peter Glynn and Mrs Dawn Losper their able representatives. Our own songbird of renown Miss Moira Wilson and her choral group, the Wembley Entertainers Choir, regaled us with a couple of well-known Boer War songs "Goodbye Dolly Grey" and "Soldiers of the Queen."

Mr Brian Ross, the grandson of a Boer peace accord signatory laid the Lalapanzi Heritage Trust and Anglo-Boer War Museum of Louis Trichardt- Republic of South Africa wreath giving us a direct link to both the Boer Republics and modern day South Africa.

Municipal representatives were again prominent with our "parent" city being represented by the Mayor of Cockburn, Mr Logan Howlett JP, his wife and Deputy Mayor, Cr Lee-Anne Smith OAM as was DVA by the Deputy Commissioner for WA, Mr Peter King. (Who also kindly visited me during my recent hospitalisation.) Mr Dan Bull doing the honours for the City of Bayswater

Bob Wise and his well-drilled team from the Westralian Great War Living History Association again provided the Catafalque Party. Mr John Tick (RAE LTCOL Rtd) again demonstrated his well-honed skills gained at staff college as our Wreath Marshall and was ably assisted by Mr Murray Robbins whose organizational skills also reflected a military background (the number of wreaths was again impressive) .Our Bugler was John Short from Churchlands Senior High School, he did a sterling job, thank you John.

Boys Brigade with the attending to the flags, handing out the flyers and laying a wreath supervised by Andrew Twine. It was pleasing to note that all BB attendees were wearing a Boer War commemorative medallion thanks to the foresight and initiative of Andrew-Well done Boys Brigade!

President of the 10th Light Horse Daniel McDonald and member Harry Ball and horse, who laid the wreath for the horses and transportation animals

Our service closed with our Treasurer, Mr Brendan Cook reading Banjo Patterson's evocative poem from the Boer War "The Last Parade".

Although numbers were slightly down this year understandably due to the weather it was still nonetheless a successful event that commemorated the sacrifices of all who fell in that sad conflict.


Perth Boer War Day 2018 Perth Boer War Day 2018
Perth Boer War Day 2018 Perth Boer War Day 2018

 Sydney, Sunday 27 May 2018 go to top of page

Sydney turned on a sparkling Autumn day for its annual Boer War Commemoration at the ANZAC Memorial Hyde Park. The Memorial itself is in the final phases of the expansion which began some years ago. Recently it was sensibly decided that the eighty five year old glass and fixtures should be fixed now rather that in the future so the memorial shrouded in scaffolding and all is chaos. That however did not detract from the solemnity of the occasion

The crowd was smaller this year perhaps due to the memorial in Canberra being completed-perhaps in part due to Sydney's transport problems. Darren Mitchell was again our eminent master of ceremonies. The prayers were given by Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Colin Aiken OAM. The Call to Commemoration was delivered by the Hon Scott Farlow, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of NSW, whilst the key address was given by Senator (retired Major General) Jim Molan AO, DSC, who spoke of the need for politicians to only commit troops to conflicts that they intended to win.

The Ode was delivered by Ms Ebony Fuelling from Sydney Girls High School whilst the National Anthem was rendered by Ms Janelle Sheen also from Sydney Girls High School.

The poem, The Song of the Federation by Andrew Barton Paterson, was read by Cadet Sergeant Stephen Elliott, 306 Squadron AAFC from Sydney Grammar School, (Banjo's old school). The pipe music was provided by Pipe Major Zachery Newman, The Scots College, Sydney and the bugle calls we played by Bandsman Ross Griffiths from the Sydney Fire and Rescue Band.

As usual the ANZAC Memorial Staff led by Belinda Mitrovich and Michael Trenear were superb under very difficult circumstances.

Wreaths were laid by the speakers as well as the other distinguished guests, Colonel John Haynes OAM (NBWMA National Chairman); Councillor Robert Kok Council of the City of Sydney; Rhondda Vanzella OAM (War Widows Guild, NSW); Group Captain Grant Pinder, RAAF: Lieutenant Colonel Nileshni Karan Forces Command; George Sachse, National Servicemen's Association: Beth Brosgarth and Jilly Warren, descendants. We were fortunate to have distinguished representatives of Rhodesian veterans and the South African Military Veterans of Australia (SAMVOA).

The NSW Chairman Lieutenant Colonel David Deasey, RFD, drew attention to changes that would have to be considered in future years with the opening of the new facilities and the need to curtail expenditure. He also called for volunteers to join the organizing committee if the organisation was going to survive into the future.

At the conclusion of the service, light refreshments were enjoyed by the attendees.

Special thanks are due the Sydney Girls High School, Sydney Grammar School and The Scots College, Sydney for their support of this event.

Sydney Boer War Day 2018 Sydney Boer War Day 2018
Sydney Boer War Day 2018 Sydney Boer War Day 2018
Sydney Boer War Day 2018 Sydney Boer War Day 2018
Sydney Boer War Day 2018 Sydney Boer War Day 2018
Sydney Boer War Day 2018 Sydney Boer War Day 2018
Sydney Boer War Day 2018 Sydney Boer War Day 2018
Sydney Boer War Day 2018 Sydney Boer War Day 2018
Sydney Boer War Day 2018 Sydney Boer War Day 2018

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