Standing up for Canberra

Boer War Commemorative Address

On Saturday afternoon I had the great honour of delivering the commemorative address at the Boer War Day service at St John the Baptist Church in Reid, over on the other side of the lake. I was joined there by my dear colleague Senator Kate Lundy.

The service remembered those who served and sacrificed their lives in the war and especially acknowledged the service of local men. Even though Canberra was not formed at that stage, 190 men from the south-east New South Wales region served in the war, including 38 from Bungendore, 51 from Queanbeyan, seven from Michelago and 88 from Braidwood.

In particular, we remembered two local men, Sergeant William Bradshaw Galliard Smith and Private William Frederick Young. Those two young men were born in what is now Canberra but came from different backgrounds. One would join an Imperial unit, the other a New South Wales unit, and they would both lose their lives. They had a common bond represented by the church. Sergeant William Bradshaw Galliard Smith's father was the minister at the church and felt the loss of his son very heavily. Private William Frederick Young was buried in the grounds of the church. We had a very honourable and dignified service, we laid flowers at his grave and remembered his sacrifice.

Download a copy of this speech.