Local War Memorials


World War 1 Memorials in Gilgandra and District

War memorials in Gilgandra, Tooraweenah, Gulargambone, Collie, Armatree and Mendooran (then called Mundooran) provide many names of servicemen from WW1.

In an attempt to record the names and stories of men and women from Gilgandra and district who fought in WW1, the names from the town war memorials were recorded. Many other varied commemorations were discovered which led to many more names of diggers of Gilgandra and District who served in WW1.

Gilgandra War Memorial

The Gilgandra Library was opened in 1923 as the War Memorial Institute and a plaque with the names of the fallen was placed in the front of the building. In 1997 the plaques were moved to a new expanded site on the banks of the Castlereagh River. 

The Gilgandra Services Club has memorabilia donated by the returned men, their families and friends. Hitchen House in Miller St is owned by Brian Bywater and has an extensive collection of Military memorabilia.

The Visitors Centre has a specific display dedicated to the 1915 Cooee March and several of the men who participated in that famous march to Sydney. They started out with about 35 men and collected 263 recruits. It was also the forerunner of many other successful recruitment marches, namely the Kookaburra March from Tooraweenah to Bathurst. The Cooee Memorial Gateway lists the names of those men who started the march and the plaque in Bridge St is where they started.

The Visitors Centre has the WW1 Roll of Honor (or Honour) which lists 370 names.

St Ambrose Anglican Church itself is a memorial. After WW1 the Parish of St Ambrose in Bournemouth England, decided to make a thanksgiving gift to a town in the British Empire with the most outstanding war service. Gilgandra was chosen and a gift of $1200 sterling resulted in the building of the church. Within the church there are commemorative plaques on the pews, chairs, and candlesticks, commemorating former parishioners as well as those soldiers who lost their lives in WW1 and WW2.

The Presbyterian Church has two wooden Honour Rolls with the names of the Presbyterian men who served and a cross marks those men who died on active service. A marble plaque hangs on the wall for George Smirthwaite who died of wounds in France in WW1. The beautiful stained glass window is a tribute to Gware Hitchen, Jack Lawrence, Gordon Irvin, Gordon Jarvis, Herbert Weston and Ron Wilson who gave their lives in WW2.

The Uniting Church, formerly the Methodist Church, has a plaque that was attached to the pulpit. It has 35 names engraved on it of the men who served in WW1 and the dedication; ‘This pulpit was erected to the glory of God and as a loving tribute to the Patriotism of the men whose names appear hereon who served in the great European War of 1914.’

St Joseph’s school has an Honor Board which records previous students who served in World War 2 and all conflicts since then. It is situated in the School Hall and is a continuing project.

The Freemasons commemorate Anzac Day with a special tribute to their previous members who served in WW1 and WW2.

The Gilgandra Services club has an Honour Roll of deceased former members, possibly 22 of which are WW1 returned men. There is a large collection of impressive memorabilia donated by the former soldiers, friends and family.

WW1 may have started out an adventure for some of our lads, but the reality awaiting them was the horror of war. Each town, each employer, and each organisation wanted to let the men and women know that they were supported and the horrors they experienced were appreciated. The commemorations are a permanent reminder of the men and women who served and not a tribute to war or to glorify war.

Collecting the names and stories of men and women associated with Gilgandra and district who served in WW1 is an ongoing project. Writing the stories to share with others is also an ongoing project. If anyone would like to add their family or friends stories to our collection, please feel free to contact me.

If there are commemorations or plaques in a church or hall or school that I have missed please contact me.

Women are missing from the WW1 records in Gilgandra and district.  If you know of any women who served in WW1 that are associated with Gilgandra and district please contact me.

Margo Piggott on 0268472091

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