War graves tiled

Published by The Garland Collection on

ABOVE: On Anzac Day 1921, this was the scene at what has since become known as “The Soldiers’ Corner” in Portion 1 of Brisbane City Council-operated Toowong Cemetery, Toowong. As organising secretary of the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland (ADCCQ), Canon Garland was the lynchpin for the raising of funds through the annual “Lavender Day Appeal” that were earmarked for the creation of fitting graves for returned soldiers whose lives were shortened by having seen active service in the Great War. ADCCQ did the heavy lifting in respect of paying the Brisbane General Cemetery Trust to tile the top of these graves, and the Commonwealth Government picked up the tab for the care of the plots. This image, showing the freshly-dug graves of former Diggers covered in floral wreaths placed by friends and relations of the deceased, appeared in the ADCCQ’s 130-page publication, “Anzac Commemoration 1921: A Brief History of the Movement. Sermons and Addresses delivered throughout Queensland; The Immortal Story of the Landing”, compiled by Henry (“Harry”) John Charles Diddams, in October 1921.

War Graves in Toowong Cemetery.

Early in 1919 the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee [ of Queensland ] decided to devote funds to the upkeep of graves of deceased soldiers of the A.I.F. [ Australian Imperial Force ].

Efforts were made to have a separate plot of ground set apart in Toowong Cemetery for the burial of soldiers, the committee to form a trust fund, the interest on which should be used to pay for attention to the graves and to layout the ground.

This project, however, was abandoned because it was not found possible to make the necessary arrangements.

The committee immediately assumed responsibility for graves which were in urgent need of attention, payment being made to the cemetery trustees for tiling and turfing as well as the annual fee for upkeep.

Funds collected from the sale of badges were used for this work.

The-then Defence Department proposals for the upkeep of graves of men who had died as the result of war service were put into operation, but it was found that some of the graves which had been put in order by the committee were those of men who had died as the result of active service.

A headstone, therefore, was erected, and the actual cost of upkeep of these graves undertaken by the department.

As the Defence Department do not tile the graves, the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee are still having this done in the case of every grave which is taken over by the department.

Up to the present 181 graves out of a total of approximately 450 in the cemetery have received attention, the Defence Department being responsible for the upkeep of 123, and the Anzac Committee are paying for 58.

Every grave has been tiled at the expense of the committee, whose total expenditure to date is £434/12/-.

In addition to the 181 graves mentioned previously, 17 other graves also are receiving attention from the Defence Department.

– from page 16 of “The Brisbane Courier” of 9 July 1927.