Communications & Media

Families of war servicemen and women sought for honour board re-unveil

Families of former University of Tasmania graduates, students and councillors who served in World War 1 are being sought for the re-unveiling of an honour board tomorrow (Thursday 8 November 2018).

The honour board was made almost 100 years ago by celebrated Tasmanian woodcarver Ellen Nora Payne and features 125 names of servicemen and women, including 15 who were killed in action or died as a result of war service.

The free public event, to be held at the University of Tasmania’s Law Lecture Theatre 1, will also feature a lecture titled ‘From Academic Gown to Military Uniform: The University of Tasmania and World War 1’, presented by Professor Stefan Petrow.

Professor Petrow, pictured, who is completing a book on Tasmanian soldiers who served in infantry battalions in World War 1, entitled Tasmanian Anzacs, will provide insights into the war experiences of some of the soldiers.

“Those whose names appeared on the honour board served in many different capacities in the war for both the Australian Imperial Force and the British forces,” Professor Petrow said.

“In addition to nurses, men served in the infantry, artillery, field ambulance, Chaplains’ Corps, Intelligence Corps, Medical Corps, tunnelling companies, machine gun companies, the Light Horse, the Depot Unit of Supply, the Navy and the Flying Corps, and as engineers and signallers.

“As centenary commemorations of Australian involvement in World War 1 are now drawing to an end, the University of Tasmania thinks it is only fitting to remember the selfless contribution of the men and women whose names appear on Nora Payne’s sensitively carved honour board.”

The University of Tasmania’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rufus Black, will re-unveil the honour board, which was initiated in 1919 by the University’s Chancellor and the MLC for Buckingham, Tetley Gant, who wanted to ‘perpetuate the memory’ of the graduates, students and University councillors who had served in World War 1.

Professor Petrow said the honour board was very much a labour of love for its creator Mrs Payne, whose husband Dr Charles Payne, and her two sons, had served in the war.

A final list of 125 names appeared on Chancellor Gant’s honour board and on 5 August 1924 a ceremony was held on the University’s Queen’s Domain campus, when Sir John Gellibrand, the Tasmanian who reached the highest military rank in World War 1, unveiled what was called ‘a war memorial roll of honour’.

“It was regarded as one of the most beautiful memorial screens in Tasmania,” Professor Petrow said.

“Leading academic, political, military and religious leaders attended the unveiling along with some ex-soldiers and their families. After the unveiling, The Last Post was sounded outside in the courtyard, followed by Reveille to end the solemn occasion.”

The event will be held on Thursday, 8 November, starting with morning tea at 10.30 am, the re-unveiling of the honour board at 11 am, followed by the lecture at 11.20 am.

Please email Ceri.Flowers@utas.edu.au or call 03 6226 1874 to RSVP; please indicate if you wish to attend the morning tea and if you require parking arrangements for the event.

Published on: 07 Nov 2018 10:08am