About how the war memorial came about
Ethel Lidgard was living with her parents at Graceville when they
received the news that her
younger brother, Jack, was killed in action at Passchendaele,
Belgium in October 1917. A second
brother, Horace, survived the war. Ethel felt that Jack and other
local men of the district who had
died in action should be honoured by a suitable memorial.
Ethel instigated a fund raising srice to erect the War Memorial at
Graceville. At the time, Ethel
was a well known and exceptional soprano singer who performed widely
in concerts throughtout
Ipswich and Brisbane. At one concert at the Corinda School of Arts
(now heritage listed Brisbane City Council Library),
some of the best Brisbane musicians and singers performed to an
audience who donated generously to the fund.
The Sherwood Shire Council agreed to Ethel's suggestion and
undertook the design and installation
of the war memorial. Charles Lyon, the Shire Chairman, was also
grieving the loss of his son,
Charles Herbert, killed in action at Polygon Wood in Belgium in
Following the first meeting of the Sherwood sub-branch of the
Returned Sailors and Soldiers
Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA) in September 1919, over eighty
returned servicemen joined
the new organisation. Members strongly supported the fund to honour
their fallen comrades.
Ethel Lidgard, later Bennett (1885-1966)
In 1922, Ethel married Islay Bennett, a
widower with four children. He was the
Shire Clerk, who designed the Memorial.
When the council became part of the
Brisbane City Council in 1925, the Bennetts
Charles Lyon (1875-1955)
Chairman Sherwood Shire Council 1920-25. The
Sherwood Shire Council administered the area
from Chelmer to Darra before the
establishment of the Greater Brisbane City Council in 1925.