Smithfield War Memorial
A large gathering of friends and comrades of fallen soldiers and people of the surrounding districts met at Smithfield on Sunday, May 1, 1920 to witness the unveiling of the Public Memorial. A squad of returned men under Lieut. Adams and a Guard of Honour of school children (under direction of their teacher, Mr J. A Shepherd) marched to their places. The Chairman (Mr T Worden) announced the hymn, "O God our Help in Ages Past", which all joined in singing. Miss Blake being a pianist. The Secretary of the Memorial Committee (Mr J. A Shepherd) stated that the Memorial completed and erected had cost £175. This sum was fully subscribed by the residents as was the amount for the railing in front of the monument, the while being handed over to the Trustees of the Institute free of debt. Mr John Roberts then unveiled the Memorial, and thanked the Committee for the honour; conferred on him in this direction. Mr T Worden spoke feelingly in regard to the object of the gathering and thanked those who had helped to make the proceedings a success, especially those members of Parliament who had come especially to say a few words to the relatives and friends of the Fallen Braves. Proceedings closed by the Song of Australia and National Anthem, the children singing most heartily. Conspicuous in the crowd, was Mr J Watson wearing medals won in the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny.
The Memorial design was favourably commented upon by all. The base is of granite on concrete foundation and the figure (in Angaston marble) is that of on Austrian infantry man.
The names upon the pedestal are: In memory of our fallen brave- Lieut Alfred H, Moss drowned hospital ship Warilda, August 3, 1918; 2nd Lieut Edgar R Davidson, wounds Hamel, July 14th 1918. Pte H Hoole died at Lemburg, December 29 1917 Pte, Charles E. Tidmarsh, killed Amiens, August 8, 1918; Pte. Charles G. Smitham, killed, Messines, June 10 1917; Pte A. O Coker, killed Morlang court, July 29, 1918; Pte. Edward Blackman, killed Dernancourt, April 5 1918.
The memorial was originally located outside the Smithfield Institute, located on the corner of Anderson Walk and Queen street. The Institute acted as the community hall where many social activities were held, it seems appropriate that the memorial was located there. During WWI Saturday night dancers were held in the Institute with the soldiers from the Sandy Creek Army Camp.
The Institute closed its doors in 1970’s, and ownership was transferred to the Munno Para Council. The war memorial which stood just outside was moved outside the Munno Para Council Chambers.
The statue of the soldier at the top was vandalised and had to be removed. Students from Elizabeth High School volunteered to make a metal cross with a sword suspended in it as a replacement. This is what you can still see today. The Memorial was rededicated after the cross was installed in 1980.
The Council sold the Institute in June 1989 to a property developer, who demolished the Institute. The memorial was then moved outside the Munno Para Council chambers on Warooka Drive, Smithfield. The Memorial was rededicated in March 1990. When Munno Para and Elizabeth Councils merged, the Munno Para offices were no longer needed. The war memorial was moved again in 2004 to its current location on Anderson walk in the gardens. In all, the Memorial has had three moves over its history.