Amosfield – Liston War Memorial
The township of Liston sits on the edge of the Great Dividing Range, 20km to the east of Stanthorpe. A short distance across the Queensland-NSW border, Liston is surrounded by lush grazing land with views of mountain scenery towards the coast. Liston boasts an impressive war memorial, well-tended by the local community. The memorial was originally located in the nearby village of Amosfield, where it was dedicated in 1920 in the grounds of the public school. The communities of Liston, Amosfield, and Willson’s Downfall are within a few kilometres of each other, and, as with Stanthorpe, owe their origins to the tin mining boom of the early 1870s. In the 1920s, these were thriving townships with churches, schools, hotels, and sporting facilities. In the years following World War I, the war memorial was erected to remember the local men who served and were wounded or died for their country.
The Darling Downs Gazette of 28 September 1920, published an in-depth article on the background and details of the war memorial. Under the headline, “Amosfield’s Tribute. A Splendid War Memorial. The District’s Fine Record”, the paper reported:
Situated about 12 miles from Stanthorpe over the border of New South Wales is the township of Amosfield, the centre of a thriving district. Though an obscure place on the Australian map, Amosfield loyally did its share for the Empire, for 35 men enlisted from there, eight of whom were either killed or wounded and the remainder returned uninjured. Yesterday a “Gazette” representative inspect[ed] a handsome war memorial, which is to be erected at Amosfield in memory of the dead, and attribute to the living, for their services to King and Country during the recent war.
The memorial is an imposing and handsome one, and stands in the monumental yards of Bruce Brothers, in Russell-street, and associated with it are several interesting particulars, not the least being that the material is from Queensland and the work was performed by Queenslanders. The Helidon freestone was dug from Millers’ quarry at Helidon, the figure was carved by Mr. Alf Batstone of South Brisbane, and the designing of and cutting out of the remainder was done by Messrs. Bruce Bros., natives of Toowoomba.
Standing out in bold relief on the top die of the monument is a figure of an Australian soldier, a clear and faultless piece of work, about 5ft. 7in. in height, with rifle reversed. The uniform and hat, together with [meidentals] such as the rising sun and the buttons are clearly shown. From the top of the hat to the base of the memorial is about 14 feet, and the weight is approximately four tons. The figure of the soldier was carved from the one piece of Helidon freestone, and it is interesting to note that Mr. Batstone commenced his work on a 25 cwt. block, and the figure as it stands to-day weighs 7 1/2 cwt. Another interesting factor in the monument is that the names are inscribed on tablets and the names of the wounded are indicated by a red star (a star for each wound), while a black star denotes the soldiers who were killed. At the bottom of the monument will be three steps of rustic design, which will fittingly finish off the general appearance. Mr. W. Bruce stated that there was nothing to fear about the lasting properties of the stone, and he considered that it would serve for all time.
The monument will be on show in Messrs. Bruce Brothers yards for the next week, and it is expected that it will be removed to Amosfield about the second or third week in October. It will be erected in the Amosfield State school ground. The words carved at the base of the monument express the sentiments of those responsible for its erection:
Erected by the public of this district in memory of the soldiers who lost their lives, and in recognition of the services of the men who fought in the great war 1914-1919.
The following names are included on the tablets:
- Private E.B. Beddow (killed)
- Lieut. A.H. Bonner
- Pte. A. Bottrell (killed)
- Pte. J. Chapman (wounded once)
- Pte. W. Chapman (killed)
- Pte. C.J. Crome (wounded twice)
- Pte. B.J. Dillon, M.M. (wounded)
- Cpl. F. Eastwood (wounded)
- Sergt. H.E. Fagg (wounded)
- Cpl. C. G. Fagg (wounded)
- Pte. T.W. Fagg (wounded twice)
- Pte. C.T. Goodwin
- Pte. S. Goodyear (wounded twice)
- Driver J.W. Hendry
- Cpl. W. Hoil (wounded)
- Pte. H. Hyde (killed)
- Pte. J. Hynes (wounded)
- Pte. Pte. J. Lavers [sic] (killed)
- Pte. W.O. McCarthy (wounded)
- Pte. J. Newley, Cpl. J. Newley (wounded)
- L.-Cpl. J. Newley (wounded four times)
- Pte. H. Palmer
- Sergt. A.W. Ragh
- Sig. C. Ragh (wounded)
- Pte. H. Rogers (wounded twice)
- Pte. D.A. Smith
- Pte. R.L. Smith
- Pte. E.R. Stalling (killed)
- Cpl. W.A. Stalling (killed)
- Pte. R.J. Stalling
- Cpl. J. Taylor (wounded twice)
- Pte. H. Turner (wounded)
- Pte. W.H. Turner (wounded thrice).
Messrs. Bruce Brothers have received many congratulations on the excellence of their work, and special commendation has been made of the carving of the figure of the soldier.
The dedication ceremony for the war memorial was conducted by Lieut.-Col. Bruxner, M.L.A. The Daily Mail reported there were congratulatory speeches and devotional singing, and the Stanthorpe band attended.
With the end of the tin mining boom, the populations of Willson’s Downfall and Amosfield dwindled, leaving Liston as the predominant township. The Amosfield school building was taken down and, according to the Australian War Memorial, the Amosfield war memorial was relocated to Liston in 1964. The Stanthorpe Remembers project has expanded to include the stories of the seven men who died and are remembered on the Amosfield-Liston war memorial. One of these soldiers, Private Patrick Hyde is remembered also on the Stanthorpe war memorial.
“Amosfield’s Tribute”, Darling Downs Gazette, 28 September 1920, p.4.
The Daily Mail (Brisbane), 8 December 1920.
The Sydney Mail, 3 November 1920, p.33.
Contemporary photographs of the Liston war memorial and surrounding area.
Site of the original Amosfield war memorial in the grounds of the Amosfield public school.