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This memorial is a brass bas relief of Major-General William Holmes, who served in the Boer War and the First World War, during which he died from wounds on 2 July 1917. He is depicted in uniform, from the chest up, surrounded by a circular frame featuring branches. The relief is approximately 500x500mm in size. It was originally accompanied by a smaller plaque, which was inscribed with a dedication to his memory.
Major-General Holmes was the secretary of the Metropolltan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage in the years prior to his death. The memorial was unveiled at their offices on 29 August 1919 by Mr R.T. Ball (The Daily Telegraph, 30 August 1919). During his speech, Mr Ball said:
General Holmes ... had been a soldier all his life. He was born in the military barracks at Dawes Point, and in his early years was a bugler.
In time, the board became known as Sydney Water, who occupied the same building on Pitt Street in Sydney where the memorial was unveiled. lt remained there until Sydney Water sold the building and moved it to their office in Potts Hill. The office is located on General Holmes Street, which was named in his honour.
The memorial is on display in the ground level lobby area. Visitors can access the lobby during normal office hours, on week days only.
In memoriam, Major General William Holmes, CMG DSO VD, Secretary to the Board 1895–1917, killed in France on active service 2nd July 1917.