The Kadina and Wallaroo Times (SA: 1888 - 1954) Saturday 2 August 1924
WALLAROO SOLDIERS' MEMORIAL ARCH.
Wednesday was a memorable day to those who hold dear the memory of the gallant men who enlisted from Wallaroo, and gave their lives for the Empire. The unveiling of the hand- some memorial, which is erected at the entrance to the town hall, has been looked forward to by the town, it has taken a long time to complete the structure, but the efforts of the devoted band of men and women who set with a will to see the thing through have been rewarded with a memorial that for beauty and design does credit to all concerned. The proposal emanated from the ladies of the Cheer Up Society, and with the nucleus of a fund they set to work. Gradually the sum mounted, and eventually the re- turned soldiers, who had raised a considerable sum towards the erection of a memorial hall, were induced to throw in their lot with the Cheer-Up Society, and by combined efforts and unstinted labor spread over a number of years, over £1,200 was raised, which enabled the committee to erect the handsome structure which now adorns the town. The base of the arch consists of huge blocks of Tanunda granite, four feet square. Mounted on these are two massive polished Balmoral red marble pillars imported from Scotland, 0n which are inscribed in letters of gold the names of the fallen heroes. These pillars measure 2½ft. x 4ft. 10½in. The remainder of the arch is constructed of reinforced concrete handsomely finished in cement, and artistically decorated. Wattle and laurel wreaths adorn the arch, and in the centre is the Australian Coat of Arms. Both sides of the arch are similar, and the work is high class, and beautiful. A flag pole is fixed in the centre. Colored electric light fittings, and bracket lamps will add brilliance at night. The arch is 20ft over all in height, and 24ft. in width. It is further adorned with two bronze plates, 0n which is inscribed the following:—
"This Memorial Arch was erected through the efforts of the ladies of the Wallaroo Cheer-Up Society, and the local branch R.S.S.I.L.A, supported by the public."
The left plate bears the inscription: —"This stone was laid by Mrs. S. Mc Kee, March 17, 1923."
The left hand pillar bears the following inscription in gold:—"They gave their all," and the names of the following:—C. A. Allen, C. H. Allen, E. R. Allen, Sergt D. Ballantyne, A. Bennet, W. H. Berbick, A. F. Boyce, H. P. Boyce, Lieut. C. Buchanan, R.N.R., Sergt H. C. Brown, H. H. P. Brown, T. Buller, Lce.-Cpl. H. E. Cameron, T. G. Clarke, A T. Coward, R. W. Davis, H. Deer, E. J. Dickens, Lce.-Cpl. A T. Elphick, C. Freeman, S. G. Furner, W. J. Garnish, W. Harding, J. Francis, A. Francis.
The right hand pillar bears the inscription, "Their name liveth for ever."—Then follow the names, J. D. McLean, M.M., Cpl. W. R. O'Neil, W. Ranclaude, S. Robinson, Cpl. H. Samuels, F. W. Sandford, R. C. Stevens, Lce.-Col. W. Unwin, Lieut. D. J. Walsh, M.C., and Lieut. D. S. Walsh, Lieut. J. Whittle, W. C. Winckler, C. Cornwall:
The town hall was decorated with bunting, and a flag was flown at half-mast from the arch. Many wreaths (violets) were placed on the arch, as tokens of remembrance from the relatives and friends of the dead soldiers. There was an attendance of about 2,000, including visitors from the neighboring towns, returned soldiers, men from the steamer Waimarino, and school children. The parents and friends of the soldiers were seated near the arch.
The proceedings opened with the National Anthem. Mr W. Mooney (president of local branch R.S.A.) thanked the various associations for their assistance, donations and so on. He reviewed the work of the commit- tee, eulogised the self-sacrificing part of the ladies' committee, and gave credit to all who had helped in bring- ing the matter to such a triumphant success. Mrs S. McKee (secretary) read a statement which showed that up to date the sum of £1,208 has been received, and with the proceeds of the day it was hoped to free the arch of all debt.
Col. C. P. Butler then unveiled the arch, and said—"I unveil this Memorial Arch, to the Glory of God, and honor of the glorious men who gave their lives in the great cause of liberty and freedom."—He congratulated the town on the accomplishment of such a magnificent arch. It was a grand and noble idea, and would ever impress the boys and girls of the gallant deeds of the brave men in whose memory it is erected. The Colonel then cited instances of what Poppy Day Fund had done for the returned soldiers, and declared that no fund was used for a better purpose.
Rev. R. Woodger (Anglican) then offered prayer, and the big assemblege joined in the Lord's Prayer. Rev. H. Wood (Cong.) delivered an oration, his remarks being a message of sympathy to the bereaved relatives. Rev. A. Richardson (Presbyterian) made a fervent speech in remembrance of the fallen. Mr J. F. Herbert (town clerk), referred to the excellent work of the contractors, Messrs Hawke (Kadina) and Neil (Moonta).
Mr W. J. Mooney, in behalf of the committee handed over the arch to the Corporation, and Dr. W. H. Harbison (Mayor) in behalf of the citizens accepted the gift in appreciative terms. A vote of thanks was moved by Mr H. Buik, seconded by Mrs W. H. Causer, to Col. Butler. Rev. A. Brown pronounced the benediction, and Mr J. D. Lawson sounded the Last Post. It was a beautiful and impressive ceremony, which will live long in the hearts of those privileged to be present.
An augmented choir (under Mr H. May), with Miss Hayes (pianist), and Mr Lawson (cornet), led the singing in the hymns "O God our help," "Lead Kindly Light," and "Lest we Forget." The school children (under Mr R. Bromley), numbering nearly 500, sang the "Song of Australia." Afternoon tea was served in the town hall and hundreds of citizens attended. In the evening the town hall was crowded to the doors, when the Wallaroo Dramatic Club staged "Mountain Rose." It was a meritorious performance. The committee, consisting of Mr Mooney (president), Mrs S. McKee (secretary), Messrs W. E. Perry, H. Buik, and Mesdames J. F. Herbert, D. Moore, T. Brooke, A. Reynolds, were congratulated on all sides on the magnificent success of the function.