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Orange South African War Memorial

Orange South African War Memorial
Orange South African War Memorial
Orange South African War Memorial, tablet
Orange South African War Memorial, relief sculpture
Orange South African War Memorial, inscription
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Description / Background

The Orange South African War Memorial consists of a metal lamp, atop a fluted column. The column stands on a sandstone plinth that is surrounded by garden beds. The memorial features impressive carvings, including a slouch hat with crossed rifles and a laurel wreath.

At an Orange Council meeting held in January 1904, it was moved that permission be granted for the erection of a memorial tablet in the Council Chambers, to be inscribed with the names of soldiers from the district who lost their lives in the war. Council would also contribute 10 pounds towards the cost (Leader, 18 January 1904).

By November 1904, the Secretary of the Soldiers' Memorial Fund Committee reported the Fund totalled 80 pounds. It was at this time the idea of erecting a memorial lamp was raised. It was decided to award three guineas to the successful tenderer for a design and to ask Council for a site at the corner of Summer Street and Lord's Place. Secretaries of the Fund, E.T. McNeilly and O.A. Thwaite, advertised in the Leader on 14 November for stonemasons to submit designs for a pedestal and lamp that cost up to 100 pounds.

A meeting in December considered the names to be placed on the memorial and the designs and tenders received. It was also decided to apply for a location in a park (now known as Robertson Park). The tender from Orange stonemason John McMurtie for 100 pounds was accepted and a committee was also appointed to carry out the work. Mr McMurtie was a senior member of the Orange-based firm Masons McMurtie Bros. (Leader, 10 December 1904). At the January 1905 Council meeting, permission was granted to Mr McMurtie to begin excavations.

Early in February, the Soldier's Memorial Committee met to make arrangements for unveiling the monument. By late February, the McMurtie Bros were “making great headway with the Solders' Memorial with the carving well in hand” (Leader, 23 February 1905). It was decided to ask Brigadier General Gordon to perform the unveiling on his proposed visit to Orange. A sub-committee was also assigned to work on the inscription for the monument (Leader, 28 February 1905). A further meeting was held on 3 March to organise sport activities for the day and determine the order of the procession, to be led by the Mounted Police followed by the A.O. Foresters, Protestant Alliance, G.U. Oddfellows, Orange Benefit, and M.U. Oddfellows.  

The memorial was completed on 24 March and a detailed description of it, as well as a photo, was published in the Leader on 25 March. The article stated the monument was between 18 and 19 feet high and 8 feet wide and was made from stone from Pyrmont and Waverley.

The unveiling was held shortly after on 29 March and was reported in detail in the National Advocate the following day. A full morning of official events took place, beginning with Brigadier-General Gordon, accompanied by Captain McDonald A.D.C., being met at the train station by local dignitaries. The group proceeded to the Ellis Club Hotel, after which, at 10am, the Brigadier-General reviewed the Orange Company 3rd Infantry Regiment and returned soldiers from the war.

A procession of local organisations took place, followed by a public reception at the Town Hall at 11am. Mayor T.G. Dalton chaired the event, and it was attended by several alderman and leading townspeople. Afterwards, the party moved to the memorial where a large audience had gathered, including returned soldiers, volunteers, a body guard of Police, school children and three bands, the Town Band, Foresters Band and Salvation Army Band, who all played during the proceedings.

Speeches were given by parliamentary representatives, Mr T. Brown and Mr A. Gardiner, as well as Brigadier-General, who also unveiled the monument. That afternoon, a procession moved to the showground for the sports carnival, which was attended by some 2,000 guests, with 74 pounds taken at the gates.

On 29 March 2005, Mayor Councillor John Davis unveiled a plaque commemorating the centenary of the memorial, which has been restored with assistance from the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs.


Plinth - front

Pro Patria Semper [For my country always]


Serg Maj J S Smith

Trooper E J Conybeare

Trooper H St J Beasley

Trooper M L Bastic

Plinth - back

To commemorate the patriotism of the contingent from this district South African War 1898 - 1902


Unveiled by Brig. General Gordon. CB Commdt. N.S.W. Forces 29.3.1905

Base - left side





This plaque commemorates the centenary of the Boer War Memorial and was unveiled by Cr. John Davis, Mayor on 29 March 2005.

This memorial has been restored with assistance from the Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs'.

Veterans listed on this memorial

Veterans listed on this memorial

Last held rank Given name Family name Conflict/s Service No. Service Campaign Read more
Trooper M L Bastick South African Campaign view
Trooper H St. J Beasley South African Campaign view
Trooper E J Conybeare South African Campaign view
Serg maj S J Smith South African Campaign view

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Robertson Park
Cnr Lords Place and Summer Street
Orange NSW 2800
Local Government Area
Orange, City of
Location status
Original location
Memorial type
Recorded by
Graham Wilson. Rusty Priest.
Year of construction
Dedication date
29 March 1905
South African War (Boer War), 1899–1902