Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A.2 Anzac Tribute Bald Hills School of Arts - Memorial Hall11

 Throughout my adult life, there was one person who I admired - my father-in-law, Dale Herron

Dale always wanted to find his father.  He was very interested in his family history, and unfortunately dementia finally took all his stored memories from him.  He was my inspiration initially, I felt I owed it to him to find Claude Annesley.  That quest took me on an amazing journey, and one that resulted in having to tell all my in-laws, "they were not who they thought they were".

Claude Annesley was born Harold Sedgwick, and what he did along his life's journey, filled a book!
Thankfully, Dale never knew the truth about his father.

Dale was an honest man, one who believed in setting things straight.  Like those of his generation, he was at times a very hard man, and the boys suffered in their home life.   But in his later years he was a man who loved to write poetry, and stories, and who was dedicated to the Returned Soldiers League.

He also made it his mission to help any other ex-servicemen especially if the matter was War related.

While doing this research, and learning of the demise of the Memorial Hall in Bald Hills, it occurred to me, that had he still been here, he would have put his hand up to arrange and contribute to the re-building, thus ensuring that the Hall that he was involved with as a member of the Bald Hills Sub-Branch, was returned to its previous glory.

With that in mind, my focus became not only on the history of the hall, but on the history of those whose lives were remembered with its building.

Like any journey into past history, some discrepancies with current thinking have been uncovered.

The History of the Bald Hills School of Arts, is another of those very interesting history stories!

  • In July 1906,  110 years ago, the community of Bald Hills formed a committee to build a School of Arts.
  • In 1908 the committee applied for land adjoining the school.
  • In 1913 the Department of Public Instruction donated to them the old Bald Hills School
  • In September 1914 the Hall was opened, however it was not large enough to accommodate the community
  • In 1918 plans were drawn but the costs were too expensive
  • In 1919 fundraising was organised, and plans finalised
  • In 1920  Vernon David Carseldine was contracted to build the hall, and tragically he died in Easter 1920
  • In August 1920 the Hall was opened by Hon. Huxham, the Minister for Public Instruction.

In 1922 the Committee organised another Community Event with the planting of trees in Memorial Park, to honour the 17 men from the Bald Hills District who never returned.

Bald Hills School of Arts. The Opening Ceremony.

The ceremony in connection with the opening of the Bald Hills Memorial Hall, which is to be used as a School of Arts, was performed on Saturday afternoon by the Hon. T. Huxham, MLA. (Minister for Public Instruction), and the tablet dedicating it, to the memory of the soldiers of the district who had served in the great war, was unveiled  by Brigadier-General Spencer Browne CB.  There was a numerous attendance of the people of Bald Hills and district.

The Minister was accompanied by Mrs Huxham, and there were also present the member for the district (Mr. H.E. Sizer, MLA), and  Mr.Godfrey Morgan, M.L.A. The visitors were received by Mr. A. W. Carseldine (chairman of the committee), Mr. A.. D. Stewart, (secretary), and Mr. W. J. Hawkins (treasurer).

 Tho chairman, in welcoming the Minister, said the people of Bald Hills and district had all been looking forward with very great interest to the opening of the new hall. They had all been working with this object in view for some considerable time, and many of, them had been at it day and night in order to bring it to its present stage of completion. It was not  quite finished yet, but was so far advanced  that they, decided to invite the Minister to. open it that afternoon.  He extended a hearty welcome to Mr. and Mrs. Huxham  and the other visitors.

Mr .A.D. Stewart (secretary) in presenting a report on what had been accomplished, said this was a red letter day in the history of the School of Arts, and one that had long been looked --forward to by tho committee, and the general community. The people had perhaps, been backward in securing a public hall worthy of the district, but they hoped that that stigma  would  now be wiped out.  It was regretted that the hall was still far from being complete.

 The difficulty of procuring, material and labour to a large extent had hindered progress It: might not be 'out of place' to give a little of the  history of the establishment of a School of Arts at Bald Hills. The  matter was first discussed at a  meeting of the Progress Association, held in July, 1906. No definite  action was then taken, but in 1908 an application was made for a portion of the  school paddock as a site for a building, which was  granted conditional on the  payment of title survey fee.

There the matter rested till the year 1911 when the survey fee was paid, and a proclamation was issued, permanently reserving the site of this building as a School of Arts. reserve.  No further action was taken till 1913, when the new State school was completed. The Department of Public Instruction then, offered the old school building for School of Arts purposes.

This offer was accepted at a public meeting held in April of that year. A committee was appointed, and arrangements were eventually made to have the building removed onto, the site , and altered to . make it suitable for a public hall. This was eventually done, and tho hall was  opened in September, 1914. Subsequently a library was established.

 They all knew how inadequate that building was and how unsuitable it was as a public hall, especially during those . years of the Great War, when so many  patriotic functions were held, and so largely patronised. And so in 1918 definite  steps were taken for the  erection of a new building.

Plans and specifications, were prepared,  and  tenders called but those submitted were considered to be excessive, and the matter was dropped for the time being, . At the annual meeting in 1919, the subject, was again revived, and this time, it was decided to take decisive notion.

 In October last a public meeting was held and largely attended. By almost unanimous consent it was decided to erect a new building on the present site, and the matter was enthusiastically taken up, and about £108 subscribed. A thorough canvass was made of the surrounding districts, and donations to over £230 were promised; and over £200. of this amount had been paid.

Entertainments wore held frequently, and a fete in March last considerably added to the revenue, and in addition £41 was received by way of endowment which they had special permission to use for building purposes. Altogether the total revenue right up to date amounted to about £400, and £400 had been raised from tho bank by way of overdraft, making a total of £800 available. It was decided to erect the new building, by day labour, and to utilise the timber and iron in the old building as far as possible.

 This was valued at about £200. And so the old school building, which did duty as a school for 47 years, having been erected in 1866, and then as a School of Arts and public hall, for another six or seven years, was still going strong in the new, and likely to last another 60 years. (Loud applause.) Tho hall, although incomplete, was strongly and substantially built, and there was nothing elaborate in its construction. It had cost to date £610, and they expected. when it is complete it would run to about £800, which, with the old material, would bring it to a value of about- £1,000.

The actual cost had been greatly reduced by a very large amount of voluntary labour. Otherwise the expense would have been far greater. A claim was made for further endowment in July on donations amounting to £222, but so far had not been recognised. The erection was first put in the hands of the late  Mr. V. D. Carseldine, but he had barely commenced his work when his life came to such a tragic end in that drowning fatality at Easter time. The late Mr. Carseldine's heart and soul was bound up in the erection of this building, and no one would have been more proud to have been present here this afternoon than he. His successor, Mr. J. B. Young, had carried out his share of the work faithfully and well. In conclusion, the committee would like to thank all those who had assisted to bring, this undertaking to so successful an issue, and they could justly feel proud of this building, which was now to be opened by tho Minister of Public Instruction. It was decided to erect tho hall as a soldiers' memorial, and they were going to dedicate it that afternoon to those brave men from their district, who fought in the great war, and in memory of those who made tho supreme sacrifice. (Loud applause.)

Mr. Huxham, who was received with hearty applause, said tho report that ' had been tendered by the secretary was most gratifying, even to a stranger, but was even more so to those  who had done so much although it had taken 13 Years— to bring about the result they saw that day. There was one thing he was much pleased with, and that was the way in which they had utilised the material of the old school in the new building. (Applause.)

It was like keeping alive old traditions, so to speak, and he might state that in the vestibule of the old Brisbane Town Hall there were very fine granite pillars which were used when that hall was put up and he hoped they would be utilised in the erection of the new Town Hall. He had spoken to some of the aldermen about it— as nothing could be more fitting — and ho hoped it would be done.

It was pleasing to find that all Governments had tried to cultivate in the people of the country the feeling that they were not altogether neglected. Past Governments gave them tho old building— the school— and now the present Government came along and subsidised this new place. It was true they had collected money since, which had not been subsidised yet, but he would see to it — (applause) — because tho object they had in view was a worthy one, and would keep the people of the district together.

 He always liked to be amongst the people in the country, and he was also very pleased to be there that day to open their new. hall, because it had been erected as a memorial to their soldiers. They could have nothing better as a memorial to perpetuate tho memory of those who had fallen at the. front. He hoped that when they got their honour board they would not place the names on it in gilt letters, because they would not last. They should do the names in metal.

 He had been appalled at some of the memorials put up in memory of  the soldiers, more particularly those effigies which were erected on the roadside. They were in bad taste and he did not like them. He considered there should be something more dignified, and noble, in the shape of an obelisk— when they were debarred from having a building. (Applause.) Now that their new hall had been erected he hoped there would be no lagging on the part of the people in putting their hands in their pockets to help the committee. The building was for the benefit of the people of the district, and they should part up the necessary money. This new building ought to be the centre of a great activity. It should not only be used as a School of Arts, but also as a science hall — a place where knowledge could be cultivated.

It would also bring the young together to read, and to think, rather than wasting their time in things which were not good for them. He had much pleasure in declaring the School of Arts or Memorial Hall open. He hoped it would be taken advantage of by all in the community, both young and old, and that before long, the membership would .be so great that they would have to enlarge it. (Applause.)

Tho chairman stated that much volunteer labour had been put into the building. Many had worked every day for weeks. (Applause.) Mr. Ken Mcpherson (chairman of the Patriotic League) said he had known the Minister for a long time, and was pleased to meet, him here today. He. knew Mr. Huxham when he was Home Secretary very well, and could say he made a most energetic Home Secretary, and at the time was very jealous of the health of the people. (Applause.)

They had a Patriotic Committee at Bald Hills right through the war  and they tried to do what they could to help their boys whilst they were away — and also when they came back again. (Applause.) And they thought it a fitting thing to build this hall. (Applause,) They had now invited Brigadier- General Spencer Browne to come out and unveil tho tablet they had erected (hero. (Applause) — for he was one of the most beloved men in the 'Queensland Military Forces. (Loud applause.)

General Spencer Browne, who was received with great applause, said he felt highly complimented in being asked to unveil the tablet. He was not a stranger to their district, for he bad been soldiering amongst them there and at Strathpine, during the years— (applause)— and there were comrades there who had served with him in the .South African war, and some in the last great war. (Loud applause.).

It was, therefore, pleasant to see familiar faces and renew old friendships. But it was very gratifying to him to the one in an assemblage gathered there to pay some tribute to the memories of those of their sons who would never come back to the sunny shores of Australia. (Applause ) it was a pleasure also to assist in paying some tribute to the gallant boys who had come back— (applause)— and he trusted they would be spared to play the part of as good citizen as they did that of true and faithful soldiers of the Empire. (Loud applause.)

He was pleased also to be there with the Minister (Mr. Huxham) who was well represented on the other side — at the front — by his own boy — (applause) — whom he remembered meeting in Egypt and France. It was a great thing to know that their Minister was  represented by one of his own boys in the great struggle. (Applause.) He expressed the fervent hope that those who had given to their country and  into the keeping of their God their loved ones in the cause of the Empire, would have some measure of comfort  and satisfaction when they saw that  those whom they cherished be much were not forgotten. (Applause.)

When  those older ones there that afternoon had played their part and the curtain was rung down on their activities, the boys and girls of that day and in the future time would look on the names on the roll with reverence, and love  and honour tho men of their district, who did what they could for the honour, safety, and well being of their people. (Loud applause.)'

' He' then pulled the cord and tho covering fell away from tho marble tablet, which was over tho main entrance to the building.
On the tablet was tho following inscription:

"This hall has been erected as a memorial to the soldiers from the Bald Hills district who served in the great war. — August, 1920."

 Mr. Sizor then briefly addressed the gathering, and congratulated all who had taken part in the erection of the hall. He said he knew of no district that had done better. (Applause.) He hoped it would not be long before they would see a great need for this particular hall. (Applause.)

The formal opening and unveiling proceedings then closed, and cheers were given for Mr. and Mrs. Huxham.

Good business was done at some nicely arranged stalls conducted by ladies of Bald Hills. The refreshment stall was presided over by Mrs. Hawkins and Miss Shaw; the produce stall by Mrs. Beer; the sewing stall by Mrs. Ken Macpherson; the lollies' stall by Mrs. Johnson, the fruit and ice cream stall by Mrs. Moles and Mrs. Stewart; and the fish pond by Miss Ruby Hawkins.

 Mr. George Carseldine exhibited curios and trophies which he had brought back with him from the war. During the afternoon an interesting programme of athletic sports was carried out under the supervision of the secretary, Mr. Stewart

In the evening the musical bowlers of Brisbane gave a concert, which was followed by a dance.

Major General Reginald Spencer Browne CB (13 July 1856 – 9 November 1943) was a journalist, newspaper editor, and an Australian Imperial Force general in World War I. Browne volunteered for service in South Africa during the Second Boer War, and sailed in November 1899 with the 1st Queensland Contingent.

For his services, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath, awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal with five clasps, and was mentioned in despatches. Browne returned to Australia in November 1900.

In 1903 Browne became commanding officer of the 13th Light Horse Regiment with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Then in 1906 he became the commander of the 5th Light Horse Brigade and was promoted to full colonel. He then transferred onto the list of Reserve of Officers in 1911.

For two years (1921–1922) Browne was State president of the Queensland branch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia. From 1925 to 1927, he contributed weekly articles to the Courier on his memories of people and events in 19th century Queensland. These were collected and published as A Journalist's Memories in 1927. The book is considered a reliable source of much information on the history and legends of Queensland.

In October 1922  CEREMONY AT. BALD  HILLS.

A very impressive ceremony organised, by the Bald Hills Memorial School of Arts Committee 'took- ' place in the. grounds of the hall on Saturday.  The occasion was  the planting of 17 memorial trees, in honour "of the members  of the A..I.F from the  Bald Hills district, who made the supreme sacrifice in  the Great War.

His Excellency the Governor took part in the ceremony   
Sir Matthew Nathan- said " it seemed to him that however great the number of places that he visited in  Queensland between every two visited there always was one neglected. He had attended on various public occasions at Virginia, and had spent a pleasant day once at Petrie, but hitherto had neglected Bald Hills.
The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934) Friday 20 October 1922 p 17 Article
... MEMORIAL TREES; v CEREMONY AT. BALD .'HILLS. 'A very impressive ceremony."organised, by .the Bald'Hills ... spent a pleasant day once' 'at Petrie', but hitherto had neglected Bald Hills

He was glad that an that an occasion had now, brought him there, and that it was an occasion on which he could do honour to the little township and district that sent  so large a proportion of their adult male population to the war and  also to the men who went, and more particularly to those who did not return. He liked the idea of trees as a memorial:

 The very care they would require in the years of  their growth was a  guarantee that those whom  they commemorated would not  be forgotten. He trusted the trees would ever he kept fresh and green, so that, the tradition of the self sacrifice and heroism of 'the boys of Bald Hills might- remain, an  inspiration to generations of Queenslanders in the far" distant future.

His Excellency then planted a tree in  honour of Howard Fielding.

The other sixteen, memorials. in  honour of each of the undermentioned were planted by the relatives  or friends of the deceased W. Birch, It. Brown. H ,E. Carseldine, .J. B. Crawford; M..E. Dixon, J. Fraser, K. G. Feurerriegel,  P. Hennessev, A. IT. Jardine, A.. Powell, T. Platen, J. A. Rilley, H. ,.I. Stuckey. A Snellman,' A. "Walno, "and L." Wright.

Trees planted in memory of 17 who died.
W. Birch
H.E. Carseldine
J.B. Crawford
M.E. Dixon
J. Fraser
K.G. Feuerriegel
P Hennessey
A Jardine
A Powell
T Platen
J.A Riley
H.I Stuckey
A Snellman
A Walno
L Wright
H. Fielding

However, P Hennessey was discharged in 1918 and returned to Australia

Archibald James Norris was not listed

Thomas Robson was not listed

The Governor.

Sir Matthew Nathan, Governor of Queensland, at an official gathering, ca. 1922. Matthew Nathan was born on 3 January 1862 at Paddington in London of Jewish parents. After a career in the British army, Royal Engineers, Matthew Nathan served as a colonial governor in Sierra Leone, the African Gold Coast, Hong Kong, and Natal as well as holding a number of public positions in England and Ireland. 

In December 1920, as Sir Matthew Nathan, he became the Governor of Queensland, and during his five years in that position promoted British migration to Queensland and research into the Great Barrier Reef. He was Chancellor of the University of Queensland. He was sixty-three years of age when he left Queensland to retire in Somerset, England, where he died in 1939. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery at Willesden, London. He was never married. (Description taken from: Australian Dictionary of Bibliography, 1891 - 1939).

Sir Matthew Nathan (1862–1939)
Born in Paddington, England and educated at Sandhurst, he was a governor of Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast and Hong Kong and became Under-secretary for Ireland in 1914. Working under Augustine Birrell, Nathan liaised with John Redmond’s Irish Parliamentary Party but was concerned with Volunteer recruiting in Ireland.

A British report after the Rising found: “In our view he carried out with the utmost loyalty the policy of the Government, and of his immediate superior, the Chief Secretary, but we consider that he did not sufficiently impress upon the Chief Secretary during the latter’s prolonged absences from Dublin the necessity for more active measures to remedy the situation in Ireland, which come December 18th last, in a letter to the Chief Secretary, he described as “most serious and menacing”.

Nathan moved back to the British ministry of pensions, and in 1920 became governor of Queensland until retirement in 1925.
While in Queensland he carried out many official engagements, and in 1922 was at Bowen (right) and at an unknown location in the centre.


There were 16 men who were left buried somewhere in the muddy fields of France and Gallipoli.  Who were they?


The names on the Honour Board include:

  1.              W. Birch                    William Robert Birch  S/N 231A
  2.              J .R.Brown                 James Robert Brown  S/N 3471A
  3.              H.E. Carseldine          Harold Edwin Carseldine  S/N 1019
  4.              J.B Crawford              James Buchanan Crawford   S/N 35538
  5.                N.E. Dixon                 Norman Edward Dixon   S/N  20934
  6.                J. Fraser
  7.              E.C. Feuerriegel          Ernest George Feuerriegal  S/N 3413
  8.               H Fielding                   John Howard Fielding   S//N  747
  9.                P. Hennessey               Patrick William Hennessey  S/N 1898
  10. 1           A Jardine                     Arthur Hugh Jardine S/N 2398
  11.              A Powell
  12.              T Platen                      Frederick Platten  S/N
  13.              J A Riley                     John Alber Rilley  S/N 2705
  14. 1          H J Stuckey                 Herbert James Stuckey  S/N  3662
  15.             A Snellman                  Alexander Snellman  S/N  3743
  16. 1           A Walno                      Arthur Walno
  17.              L Wright                     Leonard Gordon Wright   S/N 1543

This letter from a representative of Gunner Robson who was killed.

Please allow me the space through your valuable paper to ventilate a grienvance that has come under my notice relative in the tree planting ceremony held at Bald Hills recently.  Will those responsible explain why the names of Mr and Mrs Robson late of Bald Hills and now residing at Bowen Hills were omitted from the invitations of parents of fallen soldiers.  They must certainly have known that Gunner Robson a son of the aforementioned parents was amongst the first to enlist from Bald Hills and that he served four years on active service.  He sailed with the first contingent.  He received very severe shrapnel wounds to which he succumbed shortly after his return.  Is it an instance of discrimination, because the parents do not belong to the crowd of flagflappers"
Mr and Mrs Robson are highly respected citizens and their son Tommy who paid the supreme sacrifice was a soldier and a man.  The comfort of the bereaved ones should be the aim of the committees in charge of these events.

Where are the trees?
While the article from 1922 indicates the trees have been planted on the Memorial Hall Grounds, where are they?  The photo of the Hall from the same era, from the Australian War Memorial does not show any trees.
The closest indication can be the photo of the hall c 1922 compared with today. 
There does not appear to be an avenue of trees, planted as was the custom in those days.

The photo on the right shows the lands beside the Memorial Hall.  

Which would be the trees?   Have they got plaques on them to commemorate the lives lost?

However there was also an avenue of trees on Gympie Road, just a little way along the road overlooking the flats.

My uncle lived on Gympie Road, more than 60 years ago, and with his brothers ran a farm in Strathpine. 

As a child we drove Old Gympie Road very regularly, my memory is of the rows of pine  trees in the area overlooking the Bald Hills Flats.

The photo of the Hall from the same era, from the Australian War Memorial do not show any trees.

                                                                                                (John Oxley Library State Library of Queensland1 89056)

Today the tree numbers on that site seems to have dwindled, and the park is called John Stewart Memorial Park.


The School of Arts was listed in 2009  as a Queensland War Memorial.
Established on the 21st August 1920, the site consists of a chamferboard hall with memorial gate and marble shield-shaped plaque above the main door. The gate has brick pillars and lettering in a metal arch, with commemorative plaques attached.

Bald Hills School of Arts, 2126 Gympie Road, Bald Hills Qld 4036

Inscription on right gatepost: Dedicated to those who served in 1939 - 1945 war. Presented by: ANZAC Day Commeration (sic) Committee (Queensland)Incorporated
Gate arch reads LEST WE FORGET
Plaque above door reads: The hall has been erected as a memorial to the soldiers from the Bald Hills District who served in the Great War. Aug. 1920.
First World War (hall), Second World War (gates)
Conflicts commemorated
First World War, 1914-1918
Second World War, 1939-1945

Memorial type   Building
Recorded by  Lesley McBurney
Date recorded    23 April 2009

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