October 16 - 22, 2016: Issue 285

Remembrance Day 2016: War Memorials - Manly, October 14, 1916

MEMORIAL TO MANLY'S HEROIC DEAD. (1916, October 18). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 19. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160388945
In the lead up to Remembrance Day 2016, November 11th, with Anniversary Commemorations of the opening of Palm Beach RSL coming up, and that of the official opening of the Manly War Memorial on Friday October 14th, a 100 year anniversary in that case, we'd like to share a few insights into local War Memorials and how they came about.

The first dedicated on the peninsula was that at Manly by a heartbroken father for his son:

The Governor-General will on Saturday next unveil a memorial erected on the Corso, Manly, to the soldiers from Manly who have fallen in the wnr. The memorial, which was designed by Mr. Burcham Clamp, architect, of Sydney, is the gift of Mr. Mark Mitchell and family. Mr. Mitchell's son, Alan; was the first soldier of Manly to lose his life in this war.

The memorial rises to a height of over 35ft, and is built entirely of trachyte. The design of the memorial at the base is octagonal, four sides being reserved for names and the other four for bronze medallions. At each corner of the base is a carved dolphin, signifying that the soldiers for whom the memorial is being erected came from the seaside. The column of trachyte is of one piece, illustrating the life of the soldier, unbroken and pointing upward to life eternal. The ball surmounting the column represents the earth at the same angle of inclination as the terrestrial globe. The band running round equatorially has cut in the rough the word "Anzac." The globe shows the outline of Australia and New Zealand; the band containing the words showing that the fame of the soldiers has encircled the globe.

The capital is of Australian flowers-the waratah and the Christmas bell, with the waratah leaf in place of the ordinary acanthus leaf. The bronze medallions illustrate a cycle of events. Starting from the beginning at the right shows soldiers in the trenches, with the inscription, "There were giants on the earth in those days," from Genesis-the activities of the soldiers in their lives in the cause of humanity and justice. The next medallion illustrates the second cycle-the mourning of their deaths, with the Biblical consolation, "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God," from Isaiah.
The next medallion is intended to represent the promise in the future. The young lion standing in a menacing, surprised attitude at the sudden apparition of the vast concourse appearing in the clouds, the larger lion representing the mother country; the promise to be fulfilled is shown in the inscription (about Australia becoming a mighty nation). The fourth medallion is a memorial tablet, intending to represent the life, death, mourning, and the future, and for the sake of humanity and justice for which they have so gloriously given their lives.

In the niches are placed four other bronze pieces, having as regards three the central idea of humanity. The first - the front of the memorial-is the Australian Insignia on the dress of the Australian soldier who took up arms for humanity's sake. The other three illustrate the different methods of attending to the wounded soldiers. One illustrates the story of Simpson and his donkey, Murphy, bringing down to the base a wounded soldier; the second the stretcher-bearers, and the third the Ambulance Red Cross waggon passing through the rugged country of Gallipoli.

The inscription on the monument is as follows:
"To the memory of those gallant men of Manly who in the present war so gloriously gave their lives-for the sake of humanity and justice. This memorial was erected by the family of Alan David Mitchell, the first soldier of Manly to fall SOLDIERS' MEMORIAL AT MANLY. (1916, October 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15677456 

Studio portrait of 1323 Private Alan David Mitchell, D Company 1st Battalion, of Manly, NSW. A law student at the University of Sydney prior to his enlistment on 20 November 1914, he embarked from Sydney on HMAT Seang Bee (A48) on 11 February 1915. 

He was wounded in action some time between the 25-29 April and was evacuated to hospital in Egypt where he died of wounds on 5 May 1915. 

His early education was at The King's School and St Andrew's College. He had served as a Cadet for 8 years prior to enlisting.

Alan was the son of Mark and Elizabeth Mitchell, of "Leitelinna", Fairlight St., Manly, New South Wales. Born at Sydney, in Glebe, in 1892 he was the second of three sons and one daughter.

Right: Private Alan David Mitchell, Image H06355, courtesy Australian War Memorial

According to his War Record Enlistment papers he was 22 years and 11 months and 5 feet 5 inches tall with dark brown hair and eyes.

Six companies of the 9th, 10th and 11th Battalions [of the Australian Imperial Force]" were those who landed in that first wave, at Gallipoli around 4.20 a.m. on April 25th, 1915, and of that first wave 101 were killed in action.

The 1st Battalion were sent in and landed around 7.40 a.m.

Roll call of D Company, 1st Battalion, at Hell Spit after the fighting at the landing. This company went into action with six officers – Major B I Swannell, Captain H Jacobs, Lieutenants Fogden, Shout, Duchesne and Street and 213 other ranks. When reassembled, the muster was one officer, Captain H Jacobs, and 88 other ranks.  - AWM.

The record of the Addresses given at the unveiling:
It was a large and reverent gathering that assembled on the Corso, Manly, on Saturday afternoon, to witness the unveiling of the memorial to the soldiers of Manly who had fallen in the Great War. The ceremony was performed by the Governor-General, Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson, who was accompanied by her Excellency Lady Helen Munro Ferguson. They were received on their ar-rival by a guard of honour of returned soldiers, and were escorted by the Mayor of Manly, Alderman Keirle, to a raised plat-form in the centre of the street, opposite the Town Hall, and immediately in front of the stately memorial, which is built of trachyte, and rises to a height of 35 feet. The design, which was the work of Mr. Burcham Clamp, is simple, but striking. Cut in the rough, on the band running round the ball surmounting the column, is the one word ''Anzac." The inscription on the monument runs:— "To the memory of those gallant men of Manly who, in the Great War, so gloriously gave their lives for the sake of humanity and justice. This memorial was erected by the family of Alan David Mitchell, the first soldier of Manly to fall.

The national anthem was played by the band on the arrival of the Governor-General, and after little Miss Craven had presented a bouquet to Lady Helen, the Mayor briefly welcomed their Excellencies, and Introduced Mr. Mark Mitchell, whoso son was the first of Manly's soldiers to fall.

Mr. Mitchell said that when the municipality had accorded his family the honour of erecting the soldiers' memorial, the family had endeavoured, as far as possible, to make it one of architectural beauty. "To my good friends," he went on, "who are united with us in that bond of suffering which so many of us have to go through, I can only offer this consolation, that this memorial will, I hope, remain an everlasting record of those soldiers of ours who have In this time of Australia's troubles and tribulations, given up their best for their country." He hoped that the sacrifice which these men had made would be an example and an Inspiration to the generations that would come after us.

The Mayor accepted the gift on behalf of the municipality. "Our own attitude," he proceeded, "Is one of fortitude. There is no thought of turning back. Our sons will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder until the foe is vanquished and our righteous cause has triumphed This is the spirit which animates the whole Empire.
"Greater than the solidarity of any political party was the solidarity of the Empire at this moment, and that grand spiritual solidarity which bound all the Allies together. It was this spirit which would win the war. (Hear, hear ) He paid a special tribute to the heroic Belgian nation, and the people of France, whose spirit revived, and whose power became more potent in, proportion as the life-blood of her sons passed away. In conclusion, he said that this memorial to Manly's fallen soldiers standing in this busy thoroughfare of men stood as a stern rebuke to those who chose the pathway of leisure and Indolence. (Applause.)

The Governor-General then addressed the large gathering There must have been 5000 people present. "In this home of enjoyment." he said, "where the youth of Sydney delight to congregate, we are met In the full sunlight of a splendid day to face the stern reality of war and we remember the men who gave their lives for the freedom of sunny Australia We are met In honour of those who died for their country that she might live. I read in a letter that came by the mail this morning of the death of a fine young officer while leading his company to victory on the Somme. His mother said she had been tremendously proud of him all her life, and she was prouder than ever of him in his death That is typical of the attitude of the mothers of the Empire, as the death of our warriors is typical of the self sacrifice of the men of the Empire. It is not self-indulgence, national prosperity, nor exclusive advantage that renders a people respected and self-respecting. It Is its sense of right, Its readiness to fight wrong, its strength begotten of strenuous exertion, its readiness to meet any and every call of duty with joy. Its determination to persevere to the bitter end for the common good That Is 'the British tradition. May we never depart from it The great Empires-Russia, France, Britain-responded at the call of war. So did the little nations-Belgium. Servia, and now Roumania. Each risked its all for national existence, and each will have its reward in continued existence, with added security and renown (Applause)
The names of those on this monument who sprang forward at the summons to the front are a sum guarantee of our faith that Australia will be faithful unto death-(applause)-in the cause of independence of race, of public right, of civilisation: and to that end Australia expects every man to do his duty, even as those whose names live in our hearts and are here recorded to show that they did theirs." (Pro-longed applause)

In moving a vote of thanks to their Excellencies, Mr. Arthur Griffith, Minister for Education, who represented the State Government, expressed the hope that when, In a few days' time, Australia came to give its vote on the Referendum issue. It would not turn its back on the brave voting men who had died for us, and those thousands of other bravo sons who were facing death today in the firing line for our safely and protection and for the freedom of the world. (Loud applause.)
Mr. Joseph Cook, M.P., seconded the vote of thanks.  FOR THOSE WHO DIED. (1916, October 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15673112 

The sudden death of Mr. Mark Mitchell, 50 Bradley's Head rd., Mosman, which took place at Cowra on Thursday last, May 11, at the Cowra Hospital, removes from our midst another of the community workers who can ill be spared. Born at Ipswich, in Queensland, Mr. Mitchell commenced practice as a solicitor in Sydney; in 1884, and was a leading authority on Bankruptcy matters, in which subject he had specialised. 

Mr. Mitchell always took a keen interest in public affairs, and especially in communal affairs. He was one of the founders of the Jewish Aid Society, in which he showed great interest, serving on the committee for many years, and he held the position of vice-President up till the time of his decease. He was a trustee of the Society. The Sydney Jewish Literary and Debating Society of Sydney was another society in which Mr. Mitchell was keenly interested and he was a member of the Council of the Jewish War Memorial. 

During the war period, the deceased identified himself with all war movements. His eldest son, Alan David Mitchell, was one of the first men of the A.I.F. to fall during the war, having died at the landing at Anzac. In memory of his son the late Mr. Mitchell provided for the erection in the Corso at Manly of the handsome memorial column to Manly 's fallen soldiers. He is survived by two sons, Messrs. Clive and Karl Mitchell, both of whom served in the A.I.F., and one daughter, Miss Enid Mitchell. OBITUARY. (1922, May 19). The Hebrew Standard of Australasia (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1953), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article120613399 

Veterans Listed  Cnr The Corso and Belgrave Street, Manly

Unveiling Of The Manly Memorial, 14/10/1916

Published on 13 Oct 2016 – by NFSA
The unveiling of a monument for Alan David Mitchell, the first soldier from Manly (New South Wales, Australia) to die in the First World War. Erected by his parents and unveiled on 14 October 1916, the monument remains in place along The Corso in Manly. Over time it has been updated to commemorate all those from the district who have died fighting in conflicts from the South African War to Afghanistan.

Sir Munro Ferguson, Governor General of Australia, and his party are seen arriving to unveil a memorial in the Sydney suburb of Manly on 14 October 1916. The memorial was erected by Mr and Mrs Mark Mitchell. Their son Alan David Mitchell was the first soldier from Manly to die in the war, after wounds received at Gallipoli. As the flag goes up and the camera slowly pans, the couple seated in a prominent position, with the woman in dark attire, is likely to be the Mitchells. 

Atop the column is a globe of the world with Australia featured upon it. The word ANZAC is engraved on a band circling the globe. The two flags flanking the memorial are the Australian National Flag and the Union Jack. A raised wide shot captures the crowd around the memorial.