Welcome home from the First World War for Department of Agriculture soldiers, 1919
In 1919 some 250 officers of the Department of Agriculture and their friends attended a function on the government yacht, Lucinda, to welcome home Agriculture employees who had served their country in the First World War. Ninety-one employees had enlisted from the Department; eleven had died in the conflict.
Also on the Lucinda for the cruise down the river from Queen’s Wharf on that evening of 18 December 1919 was the departmental honour board, a timber memorial made by members of staff of the department. Carpenter J. Cree constructed the honour board to a design prepared by artist HW Mobsby, who also was responsible for painting the names. Today, that same Roll of Honour hangs in the foyer of National Trust House. For reasons yet to be established, the board contains 92 names.
According to the Brisbane Courier which reported on the cruise, several departmental employees had enlisted at the beginning of the war, in August 1914, served throughout the war and only just returned. One of these was stock inspector Gilbert Samuel Birkbeck whose name, along with the letters DSO for the award he was given in 1917, heads the Roll. On that December evening, as the Lucinda cruised the Brisbane River, Birkbeck responded to the ‘Welcome Home’ toast on behalf of all who had served.
Brisbane Courier, 19 December 1919, p. 7.
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