UQ honours once-forgotten WWI soldiers

The names of 15 forgotten World War I soldiers have been added to a new Roll of Honour plaque unveiled at The University of Queensland’s Gatton campus in time for the 100th anniversary of the armistice.

The plaque now lists 51 Queensland Agricultural College (UQ Gatton) staff and students who served in World War I, including the names of the fallen who hadn’t appeared on previous memorials.

The inclusion of the once-forgotten soldiers is the result of years of research by UQ archivist Bruce Ibsen, who produced Faces of the Fallen – a publication honouring UQ’s Anzacs.

“The deeper I delved into the project, the more it highlighted some discrepancies and omissions listed on UQ memorial plaques, in particular the plaque at the War Memorial Swimming Pool at the Gatton campus,” Mr Ibsen said.

“Thirty-six students are listed on the original plaque, but during my research I found that 15 names were omitted.

“The original plaque was made using research material available at the time, however contemporary online access to historical resources provided greater accessibility to the information.”

Mr Ibsen said the plaques evolved from being a list of names etched on stone or metal, to a revelation of unique personalities, some of whom had achieved much in their short lives, and others with untapped potential that was never fully realised.

“We cannot forget they were more than just names to the people who knew them. They were individuals who were loved by many, and missed forever by their families and friends,” he said.

Relatives of those soldiers listed on the previous plaque have applauded the University’s efforts to remember all staff and students who served their country.

Clive Dellora – whose great uncle, Kevin John Molony, died in Belgium in 1917 – said the UQ World War I memorial plaque brought together two key aspects of the lives of these young men.

“In many cases, given their youth, a soldiers’ education and military service were the only recorded activities in their lives,” Mr Dellora said.

“They were often too young to have marriage certificates or an involvement in community affairs, and photos would have been a rare treat.

“Their lives were all too short and a visible commemoration of their sacrifice is of lasting value.”

Read more about UQ’s involvement in World War I in Contact magazine.

Caption: image above – UQ archivist Bruce Ibsen with the new World War I Roll of Honour at UQ Gatton campus.

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