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The Hay Boer War Memorial - Riverine Grazier  (1901-3) Back to:   History Pages
Listed below are selected extracts from the Riverine Grazier relating to the raising of funds by shilling subscription for a Boer War Memorial at Hay.  The Memorial at the Hay Park, commemorating the district volunteers who lost their lives in South Africa, was unveiled in a ceremony held on 6 May 1903.  A full list of subscribers to the Hay Boer War Memorial can be found here.

Riverine Grazier, 28 June 1901
Proposed Local Memorial to Fallen Soldiers.
(To the Editor of the Riverine Grazier.)
            Sir, – In perusing the copies of the metropolitan papers, almost daily one reads of the unveiling of some monument or tablet, which has been erected to commemorate the memory of the Australian soldiers who have lost their lives in upholding the prestige of our colony in South Africa.
            The public of Hay are renowned for their patriotism, and are never backward in subscribing to a good cause if advocated in a proper spirit.  Some time ago a paragraph appeared in your journal signed, "W. Johnstone," suggesting the erection of a monument in the Hay Park to the memory of the soldiers who volunteered from this district, and had lost their lives in doing their duty.  There is no question about the suggestion being a good and a worthy one, but through the lack of: energy on the part of our citizens, the matter has been allowed to lie dormant.  Now, Mr. Editor, knowing the prominent part you take in working up anything you may consider a worthy object, or advocating what you think a just and right action on behalf of the citizens of the town, I beg to submit the following suggestion: That a shilling subscription be taken up by you, and that you set apart a space in your journal for the acknowledgment of these subscriptions.  My reasons for predicting the success of this undertaking are as follows: In the first place the movement would be a popular one, and within the reach of the means of all.  Secondly, that all classes could send along (in many cases,) a shilling for each member of their family, and I feel sure they would willingly do so.  Thirdly, the population of Hay and district, according to the last census, being over 6000, if 2000 of those persons subscribed their 1s each, there would be sufficient funds to erect a monument that would not only be a credit to Hay, but would show that our town and district could hold its own with the more important towns in Australia, by paying that mark of respect which is due to those from our midst who have lost their lives in upholding the honor of the British flag.
            I have sworn this letter to a number of residents, and enclose some subscriptions already received.
            Thanking you on anticipation
                                                Yours, etc.,
                                                           G. SADLER.
            [We will have much pleasure in receiving and acknowledging subscriptions as suggested.  It is desired that the principle of the shilling subscription should be adhered to in order to make the movement wide spread, but if anyone chooses to subscribe more than one shilling, we will be most happy to receive his donation, however large, anonymously.]
            Amounts already received:––
                       [subscriptions listed]
            Total, £2 16s. – Ed. R.G.

Riverine Grazier, 2 July 1901.
Proposed Local Memorial to Fallen Soldiers.
            Provisional Committee: Messrs. G. A. Miller, Henry B. Maclure, R. Gibson, Chas. Hidgcock, G. Sadler and J. Johnston.
            All subscriptions will be acknowledged in The Riverine Grazier, the editor of which journal is acting as hon. treasurer pro tem.
            We have received the following additional subscriptions towards the movement to erect a memorial in the Hay Park of the district volunteers who have lost their lives in South Africa.
                       [subscriptions listed]
            Total, £3 17s; amount previously acknowledged, £2 16s; total to date, £6 3s.

Riverine Grazier, 16 July 1901.
Proposed Local Memorial to Fallen Soldiers.
            Provisional Committee: Messrs. G. A. Miller, Henry B. Maclure, R. Gibson, Chas. Hidgcock, G. Sadler and J. Johnston.
            All subscriptions will be acknowledged in The Riverine Grazier, the editor of which journal is acting as hon. treasurer pro tem.
            We have received the following additional subscriptions:––
                       [subscriptions listed]
            Total £8 13s; amount previously acknowledged, £11 11s, making a gross total of £20 4s.

Riverine Grazier, 9 August 1901
Proposed Local Memorial to Fallen Soldiers.
            Provisional Committee: Messrs. G. A. Miller, Henry B. Maclure, R. Gibson, Chas. Hidgcock, G. Sadler and J. Johnston.
            All subscriptions will be acknowledged in The Riverine Grazier, the editor of which journal is acting as hon. treasurer pro tem.
            Shilling subscriptions are solicited, and will be acknowledged.  Larger sums than 1s will only be acknowledged as "Anonymous."
            We have received the following additional subscriptions:––
                       [subscriptions listed]
            Total, £4 5s; amount previously acknowledged, £54 9s – making gross total of
1174 Shillings.

Riverine Grazier, 19 November 1901, 2(6)
Meeting of Subscribers.
            A meeting of the contributors to the South African War Memorial Fund was held on Friday night at Tattersall's Hotel.  There were present: Mr. G. A. Miller (who was voted to the chair), Rev. R. Jennings and Messrs. C. Hidgcock, J. C. Virtue, H. B. Maclure, A. Duncan, G. Sadler, C. Brown, J. Johnston, W. Johnstone, L. S. C. Robertson, J. A. Scott and Dr. Broinowski.
            The Chairman explained that the object of calling the meeting was to get the views of the contributors as to what form the memorial should take.  As a preliminary he called upon the acting treasurer to make a report as to the funds in hand.
            Mr. J. Johnston stated that he had received £81 17s, which he had banked in the P.O. Savings Bank.  Since the opening of the meeting, he had been advised of a further £1 7s, making a total of £83 4s.
            Mr. C. Hidgcock thought they should endeavour to make the amount £100.  He thought it could be done in a very short time.
            Mr. G. Sadler said that there were a lot of people who had not yet subscribed.  He believed they would do so if given an opportunity.
            The Chairman thought they should endeavour to reach the £100 aimed at.
            Mr. Maclure concurred with the chairman.  He thought that the balance could be raised in the town if necessary.
            Mr. C. Hidgcock thought that the subscribers present should pledge themselves to endeavour to make the total subscriptions £100.
            Mr. Robertson said that as this was the first meeting of subscribers it would be well to confirm the action of the provisional committee.  He moved that the provisional committee be appointed a permanent committee.
            Rev. R. Jennings seconded the motion.
            Mr. Maclure suggested that the committee should be added to.  The movement was going to be a permanent one, and there might be many who would like to be identified with it.
            Mr. Robertson said that his object in moving that the provisional committee be the permanent committee was to avoid the invidious distinction of adding to the committee.
            Rev. R. Jennings said that that was his idea in seconding the motion.  The difficulty would be not who to put on, but who to leave off.
            Mr. Maclure thought that all those who had shown their interest in the movement by being present, should be enrolled a general committee.
            Messrs. Hidgcock and Johnston concurred with Mr. Maclure.
            Mr. Robertson said he still adhered to his opinion, but in deference to the views expressed, he would alter his motion to read "That the actions of the provisional committee be ratified; that those present, in addition to the provisional committee, be the general committee, with Mr. Hidgcock as hon. secretary, Mr. Johnston as hon. treasurer, and Mr. Miller as chairman."
            The motion was carried.
            With respect to the form the memorial should take,
            A conversational discussion ensued, there being some diversity of opinion both as to the design and the material.
            Mr. J. C. Virtue moved that the memorial take the form of an ornamental fountain, and that the hon. chairman, hon. sec., hon. treasurer and Mr. Sadler, be a sub-committee to obtain designs, prices and further particulars to be submitted to a meeting of contributors to be called for the 5th December.
            Dr. Broinowski seconded the motion.  He thought if such a memorial were placed where the two main avenues joined it would be an ornament to the park and serve as a substantial memento.
            Mr. Sadler said he had read an account of a fish-pond and fountain being erected in a Victorian town.  The fountain had four marble slabs bearing inscriptions.  He did not think they should bind themselves to any particular design.
            The motion was carried.
            The meeting was then adjourned to the 5th December, and all present took lists with a view of endeavouring to raise the amount subscribed to £100. 

Riverine Grazier, 10 December 1901, 4(6)
The Memorial to Local Volunteers.
            The adjourned meeting of the contributors to the South African War Memorial Fund, took place at Tattersall's Hotel last night.  There were present:–– Mr. G. A. Miller (president), Messrs. G. Sadler, C. Hidgcock, J. Johnston, Rev. R. Jennings,  J. C. Virtue, Edwards, A. Duncan, W. Johnstone, H. B. Maclure, J. A. Scott, Wynne, and C. Brown.
            Apologies for non-attendance were received from Messrs. R. Gibson and L. S. C. Robertson.
            The minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed.
            The Chairman said the object of the meeting was to select a suitable memorial.  The sub-committee had some designs, but were not at present in a position to make any recommendation.
            The hon. treasurer reported that he had received and banked the sum of £90 12s.
            The hon. secretary reported that in addition to obtaining the designs which he placed upon the table, he had inserted an advertisement in the Argus and Herald stating that the committee was prepared to receive designs and prices, but none had come to hand.
            The correspondence which had taken place, with a view of obtaining designs, was read.
            A conversational discussion ensued, it being generally thought that there was not sufficient information before the meeting to enable it to come to a decision.
            Some diversity of opinion was manifested as to whether the memorial should be of masonry or of iron, or partly of both.
            Mr. Virtue moved that the sub-committee be continued in office for another month, and asked to make further inquiries.
            Rev. R. Jennings seconded the motion, but he thought the month would have to be extended to three months to enable designs of castings to be obtained from importers.
            Mr. Seller suggested that the committee should decide to name a sum of £120 as the cost of the memorial delivered at Hay.
            Mr. Virtue adopted the suggestion, and incorporated it in his motion.
            Mr. Hidgcock supported the motion, and was strongly of opinion that the committee should endeavour to make the monument worthy of the occasion by resolving to raise £120.
            The motion was carried, and the meeting rose.

Riverine Grazier, 24 April 1903, 2(7)
            A meeting of the subscribers to the local memorial to the local soldiers who lost their lives in South Africa, took place at Tattersall's Hotel on Wednesday night.  There were present:–– The Mayor (in the chair), and Messrs. Hidgcock (hon. sec.), J. Johnston (hon. treas.), Virtue, Fraser, Jackson, Skene, A. E. Browne, C. Brown, W. Johnstone, Bellamy, Craig, Edwards, Sadler, Sylvander, Alexander, Julian, and Dr. Kennedy.
            The business was to consider when the memorial, now in course of erection, should be formally unveiled.
            Mr. A. E. Browne proposed that the unveiling should take place on Wednesday, the 6th of May at 4 p.m.
            Mr. C. Brown seconded the motion, which was carried.
            The hon. secretary stated that Mr Craig, who was a member of one of the contingents, was willing to organise a parade of the returned soldiers on the day.
            Mr Virtue moved that a committee be appointed to make all necessary arrangements for the unveiling, such committee to consist of the Mayor, hon. secretary, hon. treasurer, and Messrs. Virtue, A. E. Browne, Craig and Sadler.
            Mr. C. Brown seconded the motion, which was carried.
            Mr. J. Johnston moved, and Mr. C. Brown seconded, that a formal intimation be given to the relatives of the deceased soldiers, whose names were inserted on the memorial, of the date of the unveiling.
            The motion was carried.
            The meeting then rose.

Riverine Grazier, 11 May 1903, 2(7)
The Local Memorial to Fallen Soldiers.
            We have received the following additional subscriptions:––
                       [subscriptions listed]
            Total £10 2s 0d; amount previously acknowledged, £136 9s 9d, making a gross total of 2931¾ shillings.
            This amount, with the Post Office Savings Bank interest, being sufficient to pay all accounts.
Final Meeting of the Committee.
            The committee of the South African War Memorial met at Mr C. Hidgcock's office on Friday night.
            There were present:–– The Mayor, and Messrs Hidgcock, Johnston, A. E. Browne, Virtue, C. Brown, C. W. Craig, A. Duncan, Scott, Edwards and Sadler.
            The business of the meeting was to pass accounts and to arrange for the obtaining of the balance still required to complete payments.
            The following accounts were passed for payment:––
                       A. and G. Ballantine    …    135   16   0
                       Printing   …   …   …   …       3   14   0
                       Stamps and telegrams …        1     1   2
                       Cronk and Henry     …   …    7   17   0
                       Sundries          …   …   …            7   1
                          Total   ...     …   …        £148  15   3
            The hon. treasurer (Mr. J. Johnston) reported that he had £136 9s 9d in hand.  The money had been in the Savings Bank all along, and would have earned at least £3 more, making a total of, say, £139 9s 9d, leaving a balance of about £9 deficient.
            After discussion,
            It was unanimously decided to wipe off the balance by means of a shilling concert, and the Mayor, hon. secretary, hon. treasurer, and Messrs. Edwards and Virtue were appointed a sub-committee to make the necessary arrangements…

Riverine Grazier, 8 May 1903, 3(1-2)
The Unveiling Ceremony.
An Imposing and Successful Function.
            The ceremony of unveiling the local memorial to the Hay District volunteers who lost their lives in the South African war, took place on Wednesday [6 May 1903], and was very successfully performed.  We do not remember any local function which has attracted such a spontaneous and widespread interest; nor do we think that any local event was ever witnessed by so many people.  The attendance of the public could not have been less than two thousand, or about two-thirds the population of the municipality.  Everything favored a large attendance.  The day was a half-holiday, the weather was perfect, the memorial was a worthy one and well-placed, and the occasion was unique.
            The memorial has been erected by means of shilling subscriptions.  Subscribers have given more than a shilling, or more than once, but the excess over a shilling has been acknowledged as from "Anonymous."  The idea of the promoters was to make the memorial one to which everyone could contribute at a uniform rate.  At the outset the committee set themselves the task of collecting 2000 shillings, with a view of erecting a memorial, the gross cost of which would be £100, but when they reached that sum, and took into consideration the expenditure of it, it was found that to get an adequately fitting memorial the sum of £100 would have to be exceeded.  That explains how it comes about that the money to pay for the memorial is not all in hand.  After a good deal of consideration and inquiry, the committee entrusted the order for the memorial to Messrs. A. and G. Ballantine, of Melbourne.  The contract price was £128 10s, but some necessary extra lettering has added a further £7 to that.  Then water had to be laid on, and the waste water carried off to the lake in the park, about twenty-five yards distant.  The memorial is, as has been stated, a monumental drinking fountain.  It is constructed of granite, and placed on a blue-stone base.  The bottom part is of axed grey granite; from the drinking taps upward it is of polished red Aberdeen granite.  The total height is about seventeen feet.  The memorial is situated just inside the main entrance (Pine-street) to the Park.  The inscription is on two faces, and is as follows:–– "Erected by means of shilling subscriptions to perpetuate the memory of the Hay District Volunteers who lost their lives in the South African war, 1899-1902: Alick M. Aberline, died of wounds, 28th September, 1900; Peter J. Clancy, killed in action, 25th October, 1900; Thomas C. Robertson, killed in action, 21st November, 1900; William Regan, killed in action, 21st May, 1901; John Mair (Lieut.), killed in action, 6th June, 1901."  The names, it will be observed, are placed in order of decease.
            A stranger would have experienced no difficulty on Wednesday afternoon in arriving at the conclusion that there was something about to happen in Hay.  Lachlan-street was a rendezvous for numbers of well-dressed people shortly after 3 p.m.  In the vicinity of the Council Chambers there was a large crowd, and the assembling of so many early in the day betokened the interest which was displayed by all classes.  Shortly after 3.30 p.m. the component parts of the procession began to gather.  The friendly societies were never seen in greater force, and their appearance in bright regalia was very fine.  The fire brigade, in their handsome uniform, brought their new competition reel, gaily and tastefully decorated with flowers and flags, with them.  The St. Paul's Church Lad's Brigade, with rifles, and uniforms caps and belts, made a good show, and the returned soldiers, in full uniform and arms, an imposing one.  The marshalls, Messrs. C. Hidgecock, A. E. Browne, J. C. Virtue, and J. Johnstone, lost no time in explaining the order of business, and at about a quarter to four, headed by the Hay Town Band, and to the grand marching air of "The Red White and Blue," the procession moved off.  The band was under the conductorship of Mr. Rossiter.  Following it in order were the members of the Hay Fire Brigade, who made an effective display; the members of the Hibernian Australian Catholic Benefit Society; Independent Order of Good Templars; Sons and Daughters of Temperance; Independent Order of Odd-fellows; Ancient Order of Forresters; St. Paul's Church Lad's Brigade, under the command of Messrs. S. W. England and D. A. Fowler; and the returned soldiers, under the command of Quarter-Master Sergeant Craig (Australian Commonwealth Horse).  The following took part:–– Ex-troopers Jas. Hayes, Lionel Bell, J. McKinnon, and M. Wall (Third New South Wales Mounted Rifles), Frank Bignell, C. Schade, W. Harris (Australian Commonwealth Horse), F. Jacka, and A. Josephs (Carrington's Scouts), and Geo. Knight (Scottish Horse, South Africa).  Bandmaster Rossiter (South African Diamond Field Horse) also wore his uniform.  When the procession reached the junction of Lachlan and Leonard-streets, the school children to the number of about four hundred formed in, the girls under the control of Mrs. Gegg and Misses Grant, Edwards, and M. Hews taking the lead, followed by the boys in charge of the headmaster (Mr. Brown), Mr. White, and Misses Wood and Baldwin.
            Upon arrival at the park, the school children and the various bodies who took part in the procession were massed in a roped-in space on three sides of the memorial, the school children being placed in front by the adults.  An improvised platform had been arranged per medium of a lorry, and the Mayor, the Bishop of Riverina, and Mr. Chas. Hidgcock, hon. secretary to the memorial committee, occupied seats on this.
            It took a few minutes to put the school children and the societies into their allotted places, but the details had all been pre-arranged, and everything was carried out with great orderliness.  At the commencement of the proceedings in the park, there could not have been less than two thousand people present.  Every class in the community was represented, and there was a fair sprinkling of district resident[s].  The people stood round the large quadrangle formed by the children, who were placed sufficiently distant from the memorial to give everyone a good view of it.
            The Mayor, in opening the proceedings said they were met there that afternoon to do honor to those of their boys who had died far away from them before their proper time – but who had died as soldiers, and for their country.  When their returned soldiers came back – and he was pleased to see so many of them present that afternoon – they received them gladly, and expressed their admiration of the noble way in which these men had conducted themselves while fighting for their country in South Africa.  They had gone out as untrained men, their only particular qualification being that they could ride well and shoot straight, but when fighting with the veteran troops of the Empire they had shown that the Australian troops could nobly uphold England's name, and proved themselves worthy to be placed beside those who had fought for the flag in days gone by.  In meeting there that day they had followed a custom of the nation to erect a permanent monument for valour, and obedience unto death, to those who had fallen.  When they heard of the death of these men every heart in the community went out to those who were near and dear to them, and no words that might be spoken that afternoon could lessen the loss these bereaved relatives felt.  But he hoped in time to come, when they looked upon that memorial, they would feel how great was the honor their dear ones met in death.  No higher tribute could be given any man than to have his name cherished in the place where he was brought up.  The memorial reflected the greatest credit upon every person who had assisted in its erection as it showed they were prepared to recognise true worth.  He would make a slight reference to the deaths of the men whose names appeared on the memorial.  Private Alick M. Aberline died of wounds received at Lichtenberg on the 28th September, 1900.  He enlisted in Hay in March, 1900, and was twenty years of age.  Aberline was the second youngest son of the late Mrs. Aberline.  Private Jas. Collins, in a letter dated October 7th, 1900, said: "On the 28th of last month, eleven of our men were out scouting near Lichtenberg, when they saw about two hundred Boers at a farm house.  When they got to within a few yards of it, the Boer leader (Lemmer) came out with a white flag behind his back, thinking he was captured, but when he saw there were only a few of our men there he changed his mind, and ordered his men to fire.  Well, instead of our men surrendering, they tried to gallop away, and nine of them were shot.  Five, I think, will die.  They were not expected to live when we left them at Lichtenberg hospital.  Alick Aberline was one of them, and the doctor said he was certain to die.  He was shot through the back with an explosive bullet."  Private Peter James Clancy was killed at Zandfontein on the 25th October, 1900.  He was the eldest son of Mr. James Clancy, of the Nine-Mile Box, and was twenty-seven years of age.  He joined the Queensland contingent of the Imperial Bushmen, having left Hay two years previously for Queensland.  The Rev. C. Day wrote to a Brisbane journal as follows: "Poor Clancy only lived a few minutes after being shot through the lower part of the heart.  He expressed a wish that he should be buried with his signet ring on.  I had a grave dug close by where he fell, and one or two of us laid him to rest just as he was.  I read the service over him, which was accompanied by the ping-pong of the rifles all around, and the booming of the big guns."  Thos. Cunningham Robertson, son of the late Mr. Thos. Robertson, solicitor, of Hay, was about thirty-seven years of age.  He left Hay in January, 1900, to go with the Second Contingent Australian Mounted Infantry.  In a despatch of August 25th, 1900, from headquarters, he was mentioned for distinguished service on the field of battle.  It ran: "For conspicuous good work and bravery in scouting, patrolling, and other dangerous duties, from 12th April to 16th June, 1900."  Only three or four weeks before his death he had been recommended for a commission in the new police, and would have got it.  Lieutenant F. L. Learmonth wrote on the 22nd November, the day after his death: "A patrol of one hundred men, including thirty New South Wales Mounted Rifles and two guns, were sent out from near Kroonstadt to a farm to bring in some women and children who were being sent to Kroonstadt.  They had accomplished their purpose, and were returning when some Boers came galloping straight at them.  The Boers, not able to get our chaps that way, tried to get round their flank.  Our fellows then mounted and galloped on.  A few Boers kept up a desultory fire, and it was while mounted and galloping that Robertson was shot right through the back.  He fell, and was picked up by his mates, and carried.  He lived half an hour, and was quite conscious.  He was buried in the evening under a shady mimosa tree, at a very pretty camp called Dansfontein, two-thirds of the way between Kroonstadt and Rhenoster Kop."  Private William Regan was killed on the 21st May, 1901, at Mandesfontein.  He was a native of Bendigo, thirty-two years old, and resided many years in this district.  Mrs. Butler, Seaton Farm, Gunbar, is a sister, and the only relative here.  Regan left Hay in March, 1901, to join the Mounted Rifles.  He was only in South Africa one month when he met his death.  He was struck in the mouth by an explosive bullet, and died instantly.  Six empty cartridges were found by his side.  John Mair was first lieutenant in No. 3 Company N.S.W. Garrison Artillery.  Upon arrival in South Africa he obtained a commission in the Rhodesian Light Horse.  Being detained at Kimberley, he enlisted with the Cape Mounted Police, and remained there until the town was relieved on February 15th, 1900.  Subsequently he was attached as A.D.C. to Colonel De Lisle, and he succeeded Captain Watson as galloper to that officer.  The engagement in which Mr. Mair was killed took place at Can Cans, near Reitz, on June 6th, 1901.  The Rev. R. Griffiths, writing some time previous, on April 12th, spoke of the splendid service Mr. Mair was performing.  He said: "I liked his modest and sincere manner, and was struck by his keenness, and ability in his work.  The credit of Sydney is safe in his hands."  He was twenty-six years of age, and the eldest son of Mr. George Mair, of Groongal.  The war in which these lads fell cost our country the lives of over 20,000 officers and soldiers, and over £200,000,000.  It was not necessary for him to enter into the cause of the war.  It was sufficient to know that England had had to fight for her very existence in South Africa, and if some amongst them thought it was not the duty of Australia's sons to go to South Africa, the great majority felt that men who expressed such sympathies did not deserve to be classed with the grand old stock whom they were proud to be connected with.  To the foes of England, whether at home or abroad, and to the nations of Europe, the most remarkable feature of the war was the spontaneity with which the men came forward to defend the grand old flag, and maintain the traditions of their grand old name.  In the words of the Poet Laureate ––
            From shimmering plain and snow-fed stream
                 Across the deep we come,
            Seeing the British bayonets gleam,
                 Hearing the British drum.
            Foot in the stirrup, hilt in hand,
                 Free men, to keep men free ––
            All, all will help to hold the land,
                 While England guards the sea.
This war had put into the minds of the rising generation the idea of nationality and of nationhood.  He hoped the young folk – and he was pleased to see so many of them present – might become imbued with the desire to hand down to succeeding generations the great advantages they now possessed.  Unification was now the one great question.  The English people were the same people wherever they came from – England, Scotland, Ireland, the United States, or Australia – and he believed in a few years, amongst the best citizens of the Empire, would be their late foes in South Africa.  The greatest security that Australia could have was to know that to-day England's prestige was unblemished and untarnished, and should the destinies of our country ever tremble in the balance, he believed, the names of those young men who had met their death in South Africa would prove an incentive to future generations – because he believed that the memorial would stand for ages to come.
            Yes, altho' their guns be empty, and their blood be ebbing fast,
                 And to stay by wounded comrades be to fall;
            Yet, they'll set their teeth like bulldogs, and protect you to the last,
                 Or they'll die like English soldiers after all.
By their action in honoring the names of these men they had placed on record an example of patriotism and manliness, which after all were the true symbols of their country's claim that to-day she was mistress of the world.  And yet when they remembered that these young men were cut off in the flower of their youth, they could all join in the welcome given to Mr. Chamberlain on his return from South Africa, and hope
            May every year bring more near
                The time when strife shall cease,
            When love and truth all hearts shall move
                 To live in joy and peace.
(Prolonged applause)
            Mr. Chas. Hidgcock said in the unavoidable absence of the member for the district, the duty had been delegated to him as secretary of the monument, to request the Mayoress to unveil the memorial.  Before doing so it was his duty to let the gathering know exactly the cost, and the amount of money which they were still short of to complete the payment.  The total cost had been £150, and they had in hand £120, which had been subscribed in shillings by about 2000 people.  A great deal of credit was due to the town and district that they had been able to subscribe that amount in such a time.  Much credit was due to the editor of the Riverine Grazier, who had done nearly all the work, including the acknowledging of the subscriptions, for nothing.  The incidental cost to the committee, outside the laying on of the water and conducting away the waste water had been under £5.  He thought the subscribers had cause for gratification that they had secured such a fitting memorial.  He read the following letters from Mr. F. A. Byrne, M.L.A., and Mr. Geo. Mair:––
            Parliament House, Sydney, April 30th, 1903.  Dear Sir, – I am in receipt of your letter of the 25th inst., kindly inviting me to be present at the ceremony of unveiling the memorial erected in honor of our fallen soldiers.  I regret very much that I will not be able to be present.  I have, as you know, only returned from the district on Friday last, and, I have such a large accumulation of work unattended to, that I feel that I must stick close to business until I get in front of it.  Kindly convey my apology to your committee, and the people, and to assure them that I will be with them in spirit and sympathy, on so worthy an occasion.  I am, Sir, yours faithfully, F. A. Byrne.
            Kamilaroi, Darling Point, Sydney, 30th April, 1903.  Dear Sir, – I have to thank you for your notification of 23rd instant with reference to the proposed unveiling ceremony of the South African War Memorial Fountain.  I regret that I shall not myself be able to be present at the ceremony, but I wish to convey to all of those who have interested themselves in the matter, an expression of my personal gratitude.  As the father of one of the soldiers whose memory is being honoured by this memorial, I am grateful to those with whom the idea of the memorial originated, to those who have contributed to its cost, and to these who have freely given their time to the carrying out of the work.  I hope that the memorial may long stand as an evidence of appreciation of those men who have given up their lives in the service of their country, and to encourage others, in like manner, to do their duty, faithfully and bravely, in whatever circumstances of life they may be placed; if need be, in the face of struggle, and danger and death.  I am, faithfully yours, Geo. Mair.
            The reading of the letters was received with applause.
            Mr. Hidgcock then conducted the Mayoress to the foot of the memorial, and in the name of the subscribers and the public requested her to unveil it.
            Mrs. Gibson pulled a blue ribbon which had held together, in a slip-knot, a large Union Jack and an Australian flag, which encircled the monument, and, these having fallen to the ground, the memorial stood unveiled.
            Some wreaths were then placed on the memorial.  The Mayoress sent an ivy wreath.  Dr. Kennedy sent a floral wreath bearing the legend, "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." (It is pleasant and befitting to die for one's country.)  Trooper R. W. Kilgour, now of Mildura, sent one in memory of his fallen comrades, and Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Robertson sent one in memory of Trooper Robertson.  The Perseverance Lodge of Good Templars also sent a floral tribute.
            The school children at the instant of the unveiling sang, very nicely, two verses of the National Anthem.
            The Mayor then called on His Lordship, the Bishop of Riverina.
            The Bishop said that they knew there was a custom in the old days of engaging the very best orator that the nation possessed in order that he might put before the assembled multitude the greatness of the lives of the men who had sacrificed themselves for their country.  He wished heartily that a more able Australian orator had been there that day.  He felt that it was a great honor that the Mayor should call upon him, but he felt how utterly inadequate anything he could say would be to do justice to an event like that.  He might begin by recording the special qualities of the soldier, which they all admired.  The first quality he might mention was that of the attachment of the soldier to his general.  Where this was there was not much fear of defeat.  It was that quality in the olden days which sustained Cæsar, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, and later on, Wellington and Napoleon, and that which had sustained throughout the South African war, Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener.  The strength of a general lay in the confidence in which he was held by his men, and the strength of the army was the men's attachment to the officers.  Therefore, this was one of the first qualities they looked for in a soldier, and this quality had exhibited itself in South Africa.  It was a quality which made up for many mistakes; for the enthusiasm a general created in the hearts of the men would go far to mend any errors he might make.  This, he said again, was exhibited in South Africa.  This attachment of the soldiers in all ranks was their mainstay.  If their general was a great leader, that man's spirit passed into the men, and they were strengthened.  Another quality of a soldier was that he must be courageous.  However he might be lacking in other virtues, he must not be lacking in this.  He said again, that in South Africa there were many instances of this courage, and they might be sure that when those of them in future days had to face a foe, they would remember what had taken place there.  Another quality of a soldier was that there must be a strong feeling of comradeship.  Where a soldier met a soldier, he felt there was that feeling between them.  It did not belong to one corps, or army, or country.  This also was exhibited in South Africa.  They all knew of the instance when peace was declared, the one general was ready to congratulate the defence of another general, although that other general belonged to the enemy.  And so they met, after warfare, and shook hands with each other, on account of having this feeling of comradeship running through them.  When Queen Victoria was married, France sent as an ambassador, the great Marshall Souit [Soult].  While in England on that occasion, Marshall Soult visited St. Paul's Cathedral, and stood unmoved before various monuments, but when he came face to face with the monument of Sir John Moore, the hero of Corunna, he lost self-control and burst into a flood of tears.  This was an exhibition of that comradeship which ran through all soldiers.  Another quality was discipline.  What was an army without discipline?  It was nothing but a dangerous horde; as likely as not one part would go against the other.  Had they not recently had a splendid instance of this discipline in the case of 220 soldiers surrounded in Somaliland by 12,000 men, and yet under the discipline of the British Army these 220 men cut their way through the 12,000.  Another instance of this occurred in another part of South Africa where 44 men under discipline put to fight 3000 men who were sent against them.  He spoke of Colonel Plunkett and Captain Olivey and Lieutenant Wright in Nigeria.  These were instances of what discipline would do.  There was not that discipline in the Australians that there should be, but they did not expect it in the Australians yet.  They knew it was an ideal that was before them, and they knew that they must live up to it and struggle towards it.  It was a thing they would always have to bear in mind.  It was not to be expected of those who went to South Africa, who had had no proper training.  But the wonder to him was that they showed such good discipline as they did, and by and-bye they would show they were as well disciplined as any men in the world.  He must remind them of an instance that had been brought to his mind by a picture painted by Sir Edward Poynter, that of the soldier who had been found in full armor standing at the gate of Herculaneum when that city was destroyed.  He had been given orders to stand at the gate, and he was buried there in lava.  He saw the awful volcanic eruption, but he did not move; he remained firm because there was no one to relieve him.  That was another characteristic of a great soldier and all these characteristics – some more than others – were manifested in South Africa, by those brave fellows fighting for this mighty empire.  It was a mighty empire and deserved to be so long as they admitted happiness and justice and offered equal freedom in political life throughout the world; and wherever they went they should carry blessings with them.  Mr. Chamberlain said, on his return to England, that they fought not for supremacy but for political equality, and they were now ready to concede what they had formerly struggled to gain.  There was something else he would remind them of.  Lord Lansdowne, in his evidence before the War Commission, said England's preparation for the late war was not as it should have been, for the reason that they did not make the preparation they should have done because they had no desire to precipitate hostilities.  He considered that statement gave the lie to any assertion that the empire rushed in to war.  (Applause.)  He had spoken to soldiers, and now he wanted to speak to civilians.  They wanted more patriotism.  It was useless for men to sacrifice their lives if there was no a feeling of patriotism in every man and woman in the nation.  They needed the training of the Lacedæmonians.  He admitted that that training was very hard, but it made the Lacedæmonians feel that no man could do what he pleased, and that a man was not born for himself.  They wanted more individual patriotism.  They knew that a German writer in the Fortnightly Review, speaking of the colonial ambition of the Germans, said that one of their ambitions was to push their way somewhere.  They were increasing at the rate of 800,000 per year, and, as their country became overcrowded, they must push themselves in somewhere else.  They would push in at the weakest place.  He regretted that because our nation might grow weak.  They might grow weak because they were not increasing in numbers as they ought.  If they became stationary they must go down before some other power.  They knew the reason of this.  It was on account of their sin, their selfishness, their luxury, and because they would not endure certain responsibilities.  (Applause.)  It was a shame to send young men out to die while they were not maintaining the nation from within.  (Applause.)  Some of their young men who went out to fight had returned, and they were deeply grateful to them and thanked them for what they had done.  General Grant, speaking at a banquet at the close of the American civil war, said that he noticed that some speaker mentioned that the salvation of the country was due to General Grant, but he declared that it was not due to him, but to the young men who had come forward so readily.  And wherever that spirit of self-sacrifice was exhibited, that country was safe.  He had travelled far and wide in this district, and he had met soldiers who had returned, and knew what often happened on the field of battle.  He knew if these men were called out again, they would be ready to go, because they knew that if they fell on the field of battle they would not be forgotten.  But as they lay on the field, or, in the field hospital, depressing thoughts came over them.  They said it was all very well while they knew someone was feeling for them on other lands, and if they sacrificed their limbs their country would do something for them; but there was something else that came over their minds, and that was the question.  Were they right in the sight of God in undertaking this fighting.  If such a doubt arose in their mind, let him tell them that they were right.  Wherever they were fighting against oppression, on any occasion, Christ was at their side.  He was the God of the widow and the orphan, but He was also the God of the soldier, and the God of justice.  They could feel that they were doing their duty, and take courage.  If there were any of the bereaved ones present, he wished to speak a few words to them.  They had already received the comfort of their holy religion, whatever denomination they belonged to, and this also should console them that these men died in doing their duty, and that they, the people of Australia, were very grateful to them for doing their duty.  Their bones did not lie under that monument; that was only the outward symbol of the greater memorial in their hearts to the dash and courage of young Australians.  (Cheers and applause.)
            The Band played "Rule Britannia," and while that was being done, six of the returned soldiers took round contributing boxes to give any one who wished to subscribe an opportunity of doing so.  These boxes were afterwards opened in the presence of, and counted by the Mayor, when they were found to contain £15 4s 6d.
            The bandmaster sounded "The Last Post," and the three volleys were fired by the returned soldiers.
            Three cheers for King Edward concluded a most successfully conducted and well organised ceremony, a feature of which was the keen attention paid by a large crowd to everything that took place.
            We might add that Wednesday night's mail brought a letter from Mr. H. S. Robertson, and a letter from Mrs. Hotham, brother and sister of the late Trooper Robertson, which would have been read by the secretary had they arrived earlier.  They both contained expressions of acknowledgment at the honor which was being done to the memory of Trooper Robertson.
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