Anzac Centenary

Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program

The Centenary of Anzac 2014 to 2018 commemorations mark 100 years since Australia’s involvement in the Great War, also known as the First World War, or World War I (WWI). The Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program, administered by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, encouraged communities across Australia to undertake their own Anzac Centenary projects in commemorating the First World War.

Bulimba District Historical Society Incorporated (BDHSi) successfully secured grant funding under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program for an interpretative restoration project in Bulimba Memorial Park. The project included historical research, installation of an honour board and new memorial tree plaques on bollards. The local project aims to improve community understanding and awareness of the wartime history, particularly for younger Australians.

The Anzac Centenary commemorations gives communities an opportunity to continue important conversations which will ensure an enduring and unifying legacy for current and future generations.

Anzac Day, commemorated on the 25 April each year, and is one of Australia’s most important national occasions, marking the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.

The Anzac Centenary honours the service and sacrifice of our original ANZACs, and the generations of Australian servicemen and servicewomen who have defended Australia’s values and freedoms, in wars, conflicts and peace operations throughout a Century of Service.

Bulimba District Historical Society Inc acknowledges and appreciates funding support received from the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program, administered by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

The Great War

The Great War, also known as the First World War, or World War I (WWI), originated in Europe and lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. The description “The Great War” was used to indicate the magnitude of the conflict and it had been hoped that it would be “the war to end all wars”.

Australia's involvement in the war commenced 4 August 1914 with Britain’s declaration of war against Germany. The Great War concluded with Germany’s signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918 with peace terms negotiated in the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

Servicemen and servicewomen who enlisted had signed up for the duration of the war plus four months. Many were still serving until November 1919. On the memorial in Bulimba Memorial Park the Balmoral Shire listed the years 1914 - 1919 to honour those who served.

The Australian Imperial Force, first raised in 1914 for overseas war service, became better known by its initials – the “AIF”. It was a separate and purely volunteer army. Australia’s first action was in German held New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago in September/October 1914. The following year, on 25 April 1915 the Australian Imperial Force landed at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli together with forces from New Zealand, Britain and France.

After enduring heavy loses there, the campaign ended with a full evacuation of troops in December 1915. With the Light Horse regiments remaining in the Middle East, the AIF then went to France and began Australia’s engagement with the German forces on the ‘Western Front’ in protracted trench warfare resulting in heavy casualties with little ground being gained.

Overseas, Australian women served mainly as nurses and faced similar perils as the men, by being exposed to shelling, aerial bombardment and being susceptible to disease in clearing stations and hospitals near and away from the frontlines. On the home front, women undertook auxiliary roles such as nursing, cooking and working on munitions and farms and also helping in the war effort by participating in knitting and sewing circles. The effects of the war were felt at home with families and communities grieving for the loss of their loved ones and women increasingly taking charge of family care roles.

At the wars end the toll of physical and emotional trauma on thousands of returned servicemen and servicewomen was felt as their families tried to resume a normal life. In all, over 400,000 Australians volunteered, of whom more than 60,000 were killed and 150,000 were wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner in the Great War.

Lest we forget.

Bulimba District Historical Society Incorporated (BDHSi)

The Bulimba District Historical Society held its first meeting in April 2012. Saving the history of Bulimba has become ever so more important with the new wave of development that is coming into the area. Many newcomers have no understanding of the events of the past and the significant part Bulimba played in the growth of Brisbane.

Bulimba’s early boundaries extended from the Logan River, to Dunwich, and through to some parts on the northside of the river. This prompted the newly formed group (2012) to take the name Bulimba District Historical Society, the word District allowed for research of history that is no longer within the suburbs modern boundaries. Within a year of forming the members voted to be incorporated so inc. was added to the name.

The group consists of volunteers from all walks of life some are descendants of original white settlers to new residents to the area. Our aims are to collect and disseminate the history found through a variety of media for all to see. Many of the descendants of early settlers will still say they live “on Bulimba” as in those early days Bulimba was considered to be an Island with the only reliable transport to the city being the ferry.

The Bulimba District Historical Society has undertaken research for the Bulimba Memorial Park Honour Board and Memorial Tree Plaques project utilising the Australian War Memorial, Queensland State Archives, Queensland State Library, National Archives of Australia, newspaper articles and the Brisbane City Council Archives; as well as, information from the local community. The Society also engaged the services of a professional historian. As a result, it was determined that the original record containing the names of those soldiers was no longer available. Only 15 trees have been able to be identified to belong to particular soldiers or nurses, a far smaller number of trees than was originally planted.

The Bulimba District Historical Society Inc acknowledges grant funding provided by the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program, administered by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and extra funding supplied by the Brisbane City Council, via Councillor Shayne Sutton.

Honour Board and Memorial Tree Plaques

The Honour Board and Memorial Tree Plaques provide public recognition and memorial to all servicemen and servicewomen who enlisted in “The Great War” from Division One of the Balmoral Shire. Balmoral Shire was divided into Divisions. Bulimba as we know it today is smaller than it was then and it now lies entirely within that Division One's boundary.

Bulimba Memorial Park is on the Queensland Heritage Register as a First World War memorial park. Historical records show it was also known as Jamieson Park and Bulimba Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park. In 1904, the Balmoral Shire Council acquired 4 acres of grazing paddock bordering Godwin, Oxford and Stuart Streets to use as a recreational park. By the end of World War One, a small committee of local residents had formed and were lobbying to mark the remembrance of the local men and women’s war service by having trees planted in Jamieson Park, which had grown to over 10 acres (4.6 hectares).

The dedication and the first tree planting ceremony took place on Saturday, 1 November 1919. Political, religious and committee dignitaries acknowledged the sacrifices local enlistees and their families had made and renamed the park the Bulimba Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park.

Between 1919 and 1923 trees were planted along the Stuart, Godwin and Oxford Street frontages. The tradition at that time was to plant fig and palm trees alternately to represent the different theatres of war, namely the European and desert campaigns, respectively. In Bulimba Memorial Park the choice of tree for a soldier did not necessarily match the area where he fought. Over time, all of the plaques from these trees have been removed and have disappeared and as well a number of the trees have not survived.

The original memorial to soldiers who served in The Great War in Bulimba Memorial Park, consisted of two components: small concrete memorial (which still stands and was restored in 2005); and the planting of fig and palm trees to honour those who enlisted to fight from the local area. A plaque was placed in front of each of these trees which included the name of the soldier or nurse for whom the tree had been planted.

The Honour Board and new Memorial Tree Plaques are to reinstate acknowledgment of the original memorials to Bulimba servicemen and servicewomen, and in conjunction also help interpret the park’s historical origins and meanings to the community.

Extensive research has been undertaken to ascertain the original returned soldiers names for the trees and palms. However not all the names for the existing trees and palms were found.

There are 15 plaques placed on top of white painted timber bollards which relate to the historical types that research has revealed were originally used in Bulimba Memorial Park.

Although many official records were lost during the 1974 floods, a Brisbane City Council 1980s hand-drawn map noted some trees. Trees have now been identified by using research, oral histories and family photographs.

As a result, the trees for local soldiers: Bullock, Burchill, Davis, Feeney, Grayson, Mitchell, Palframan, Tait, Telford and Tyler were noted, as well as, the trees for related soldiers of the Offord, Henderson, Imber and Watson families.

Nurses also associated with Balmoral Shire were recognised. On 1 November 1919, a tree was planted in Bulimba Memorial Park which was reported to be “To the nurses” and “in commemoration of the service of a devoted nursing sister who left the district to serve at the front”. Also acknowledged was the “splendid services which women had given in the war”. Research has found four World War One nurses had associations with the Balmoral Shire.

At the time, some of these trees were planted for those who served and returned, while others were to remember deceased relatives.

The park is now known as the Bulimba Memorial Park and is not only used by the community for organised and independent recreational purposes, but also for the ‘commemoration of ANZAC day and other commemorations in Bulimba’.

As such, in 1992 it was included on the Queensland Heritage Register as a community landmark which serves to protect the historical, aesthetic and social significance of the Memorial park and trees; gates, pillar, flagpole, shelter shed and grandstand.

World War I

  • George William Imber

    George William Imber was born in 1898 in Sydney

    Read more 

  • Walter Boone Henderson

    Just now  |   0

    Read more 

  • Thomas Henry Offord

    Thomas Henry Offord was born in 1878 in England to George

    Read more