Boer War Memorial, Garden of Remembrance
‘The Willoughby Memorial Fountain...was, on March 10th, 1901, unveiled by the Hon. John See, M.L.A., State Minister for Defence. The fountain was erected by public subscription as a tribute of respect from the people to the memory of those local volunteers who lost their lives in the service of the Empire during the South African War of 1899-1901.’
(Willoughby’s Fifty Years: A Retrospect of the Jubilee Period of the Council of the Municipality of Willoughby for the years 1865 to 1915, Claude Leplastrier, 1915)
The marble memorial is located in the northern end of the Garden of Remembrance, after being moved from the western end of nearby Chatswood Park in 1952.
The square upper canopy is supported by carved Corinthian columns at each corner. The capitals of each column are decorated with Acanthus leaves. On top of the canopy is a small intricately carved crown on top of a fluted dome.
Commemorative plaques likened to the shape of personal headstones form the north and south faces of the base of the memorial. Above one of the plaques is a decorative carving of crossed swords, and a ribbon or drapery is carved above the other. The inscriptions on the marble consist of lead lettering. The south face inscription reads:
'This fountain was erected by the people of Willoughby in memory of those local volunteers who lost their lives in the “service of the empire” during the South African War. 1899-1902'
The inscription on the north face reads:
'Trooper C.C. Gilchrist died of enteric fever Kimberley, March 13th 1900. Trooper F.W. Whinfield died of enteric fever Bloomfontien, May 4th 1900. Private F.V. Smith killed at Jacobsrust, May 7th 1900.'
Chatswood RSL Sub Branch received grant funding from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs which allowed improvement works to be completed in 2012. The memorial was cleaned, two drinking fountain basins attached to the sides of the memorial were removed (as there was no water connection and the fountains were damaged) and deteriorated joint material was replaced.