Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies Australia

QLD: Diane Melloy - " The Boys of Brisbane Grammar School, Soldiers of the Queen and the King, to the Boer War and to the Great War."

  • 05 Sep 2017
  • 18:00 - 20:00
  • RUSI Hall Victoria Barracks Brisbane


  • QLD Members and Guests - A Hot Supper, with appropriate beverages, will be served after the Lecture.

Registration is closed

RUSIQ Evening Lecture Notice

Tuesday, 5 September 2017,
1800 at RUSI Hall, Victoria Barracks

SUBJECT: The Boys of Brisbane Grammar School, Soldiers of the Queen and the King, to the Boer War and to the Great War.

INTRODUCTION:    Many of the Australians who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in April 1915 were in their late teens and early 20s, and had no concept of the horrors that lay before them. Others were somewhat older, and decidedly more aware.

These older and wiser warriors had served in South Africa, less than a generation before, on behalf of their queen, their king, and (after 1 January 1901) their newly federated commonwealth. They had fought in the Boer War – Australia's first war. They were Fathers of the ANZACs, and among them were twelve Old Boys of Brisbane Grammar School who volunteered for the Boer War and volunteered again when war was declared in 1914.

The names and some details of the 1,020 BGS Old Boys known to have served in the Great War are recorded in The Golden Book, a four-volume, leather-bound compendium that is one of the school's most treasured possessions, housed in a crystal cabinet. The records were compiled as a labour of love by Stuart Stephenson, headmaster from 1928 to 1940. Each occupies one page. The calligraphy was the work of Charles Bennett Fox, an alumnus. The border of poppies was designed by Madge Roe, daughter of Reginald Heber Roe, a former headmaster. The Brisbane Grammar School Magazine of November 1915 noted that eleven members of the "Expeditionary Force also served in the South Africa War." Through my research, I positively identified a twelfth man, and came tantalizingly close to naming a thirteenth. (His story is still to be told). BGS fielded a cricket team of the highest calibre. This paper elaborates on The Golden Book profiles of these twelve Fathers of the Anzacs, telling their stories in detail, in some cases for the first time.

PRESENTER:    Diane MELLOY   -    A researcher, writer, and speaker with particular interests in the Boer War, World War I, and Mary Queen of Scots.

Diane Melloy is a granddaughter of Corporal Joseph Lock (a stockman from Charleville who served with the 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen during the Boer War) and the widow of Armourer-Sergeant Robert Sydney Melloy (the Last Man of the 42nd Battalion AIF and author of "Time Will Tell: Memoirs of a Kangaroo Point Kid") – one of ten WWI widows who attended the Anzac Centenary commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 as guests of the Australian Government and Qantas.
If you wish to attend, please notify the Secretary of RUSIQ, Ms Jacqui Page (phone: 0421 667 629 or email ) by 1200 on Monday, 4 September 2017 [for Security and Catering purposes] Registration is essential!
Cost: $10.00 for Members of RUSIQ; $15.00 for Non-Members. A Hot Supper, with appropriate beverages, will be served after the Lecture.

RUSIDSS-A Contact details:
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