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The first Manildra district casualties of the Great War were Norman Glen, who died of illness at Cairo on 24 March 1915, and Cyril Read, who was killed in action at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.  Before the war’s end some 4½ years later no less than 43 men associated with the Manildra district would lose their life in the conflict, with many more suffering injuries prior to their return to their homeland.

Following the Armistice on 11 November 1918, many communities turned their thoughts towards building memorials to honour those who served during the Great War, many having given the supreme sacrifice.  Early in 1919 the Manildra community considered the matter.  Suggestions included establishing a memorial park, or a monument at the intersection of Kiewa and Derowie streets.  A Soldiers’ Memorial Hall was considered by the newly formed local RSL, and a site near the railway station suggested.  Many thought the project to be beyond the financial resources of the town and district.

A School of Arts had been established in Manildra some years before the war.  Cyril Read, the first soldier from Manildra to be killed in action, had been the Secretary of the School of Arts prior to his enlistment in 1914.  In June 1919 a meeting was held to review the function of the School of Arts and after much debate it was decided to sell the building, settle outstanding debts and to use the remainder of the funds to assist in building a Soldiers’ Memorial Hall.  Local fund raising also commenced to assist the project.  By September 1919 £442 ($884) had been raised and the Manildra community decided that the Soldiers’ Memorial should be a combined School of Arts and Soldiers’ Memorial Hall.  The expected cost of the building was £2,600 ($5,200).

Miss Ada Giffin was instrumental in the community’s fund raising ventures.  The local ladies dispensed afternoon tea to busy Saturday afternoon shoppers, hosted card parties and organised raffles.  By 1925 £1,000 ($2,000) had been raised.

Land for the hall was eventually obtained in Kiewa Street when – thanks to Mrs Emma Griffith – the site of the Griffith family tennis court was made available.  Funds were sufficient to enable tenders to be called for the construction of the building.  The hall would contain a School of Arts, a large hall, stage, dressing rooms, supper room and kitchen.  The project was now seen as ‘a tangible tribute by the people of the district to its sons who fought and suffered and sacrificed themselves to ensure that nation’s safety in the Great War’.

In May 1925 Arthur Cole’s tender was accepted and by late September work had commenced.  The foundation stone for the hall was unveiled on Remembrance Day, 11 November 1925 by Member for Calare, Sir Neville Howse VC.  Sir Neville was a decorated medical officer and a veteran of both the Boer War and World War I.  Mr Claude Miller was the MC for the ceremony, while Mr Wren Murray gave the address.  The ceremony concluded with the singing of the National Anthem and was followed by afternoon tea provided by the Women’s County Party.  An appeal for donations during the afternoon realised contributions of £1,037 ($2,074) towards the building costs.  Later in the afternoon political speeches were held in the street and a dance and concert was held that night at McGirr’s Hall.

By March 1926 the new hall was nearing completion.  On Sunday 25 April 1926, Anzac Day, a United Church service was held at 11am at the newly completed hall, with soldiers, family and friends invited.  It was hoped that the hall would become the location for all future Anzac Day services in Manildra.

Opening Manildra Soldiers’ Memorial Hall 1926

The following day, Monday 26 April, Mrs Churchill of Brymedura officially opened the Memorial School of Arts.  Sir Neville Howse had been invited to perform this duty but at the last moment had to send his apologies.  A large crowd was in attendance at the opening and at the conclusion of the ceremony Miss Ada Giffin was presented with a handsome oak writing bureau and an autograph book containing signatures of 200 of the hall subscribers.  This writing bureau is now in the possession of Mr Ian Giffin.

The first ball of the season was held at the new hall that evening, and on the following evening a dance was held for the district’s children.  The community could be proud indeed as the hall had been built and furnished and was practically free from debt.

Mr Claude Miller was elected as the first President of the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall and Miss Ada Giffin as the first secretary.  There are however, no records to hand for the years 1926 to 1959.

In 1959 a kitchen upgrade and septic system were suggested, and in the same year the Regional Library Committee was asked to establish a branch library in the hall.  In 1960 the trusteeship of the hall was handed over to Boree Shire Council (now Cabonne Council).

The Junior Famers’ Club donated in excess of £450 ($900) to the hall in 1961-1962 and these funds were later allocated to the kitchen upgrade.  Early in 1962 the Shire presented plans to the Committee for hall extensions and alterations.  Also during 1962 the library book collection was donated to the Red Cross.

By May 1962 a WWII memorial had been erected in front of the hall.  The Windus family donated the WWII Honour Roll and drinking fountain in memory of 24 year old Flight Sergeant Keith Neville Windus who was killed in action during WWII, on 27 November 1943.

Later in 1962 tenders were accepted for extensions and alterations to the hall, which were completed by May 1963, at a cost of £5,260 ($10,520) for the shire and £300 ($600) for the Hall Committee.  The alterations included a new kitchen, larger supper room and septic toilets.

During 1976 the “Back to Manildra Week” Committee made a substantial donation of $1,370 to the hall and this money was used to install heating.  Major works were carried out in 1996 and 2004 to upgrade the ladies’ and gents’ toilets, and to provide internal access to both amenities.

A local committee still manages the day to day activities of the hall.

A plaque commemorating the war service by men and women of Manildra and district was unveiled on 25 April 2006 by Peter Andren MP, Member for Calare, on the 80th anniversary of the opening of the hall.

The inaugural President in 1926 was Mr C.G. (Claude) Miller.
There are no records to hand from 1926 to 1959.

– 1960 Mr A.V. Bloomfield
1960 – 1962 Mr R.G. Miller
1962 – 1963 Mr G.H. Windus
1963 – 1964 Mr D.C. Miller
1964 – 1971 Mr Neville Yeatman
1971 – 1980 Mr T.J. (Jack) Livermore
1980 – 1981 Mr C.G. Miller
1981 – 1987 Mr W.B. Yelland
1987 – 1992 unfilled
1992 –  Mr N.J. (John) Leathem
The inaugural secretary was Miss Ada Giffin.
Again, there are no records for the early years of the hall.
Mr Ken Ashcroft remembers :

1939 – 1941 Mr Ken Ashcroft
1941 – early 1950s Mr Doug Thomas
early 1950s – 1960 Mr Ken Ashcroft
1960 – 1961 Mrs Freda Fullerton
1961 – 2006 Miss Margaret Wallace/Mrs Margaret Livermore
2006 –   Mrs Ann Murray


Abernethy, David Gordon
Abraham, Arthur
Allen, Harold Percy
Angus, Errol
Archer, William
Ashcroft. Henry Ward
Atkinson, Ernest Wilfred
Ball, Victor
Ball, Albert Victor
Barrett, Harry
Behan, Hilarous (Harry) (Hilary)
Bennett, Alfred Ernest
Bennett, B
Bennett, H
Bennett, L
Bennett, Oscar
Bennett, William John
Blake, Francis Reginald
Bloomfield, Lance Reid Eason (Darcy)
Bloomfield, Octavius Kenneth Eason (Ken)
Bloomfield, Septimus Alban Eason
Boardman, George Albert
Boardman, Oswald John
Brooks, Laurence (Laurie) Edmund
Brooks, Sidney Sutherland
Brown, James Centennial
Brown, JD
Brown, John Harold
Brown, TH
Brown, W
Brown, William Henry
Bult, Arthur
Burrell, Arthur Roy
Carey, George
Carey, Jospeh Edward
Carney, George
Carney, Martin
Cassell, George Walter (MM)
Cassell, Mark
Cassell, Willam Henry
Chew, Albert Norman (Bert) (C de G)
Clifford, Arthur T
Cluett, Edward Frank (Frank)
Cochrane, Jack
Cole, Ernest Leslie
Captain Cook
Cope, Lewis Allan (Chookie)
Coppock, William Joseph
Private Crowder
Mr F Daley
Alf Davies
Davis, Charles
Davis, George
Davis, Percy John
Day, Walter
Douglas, Alroy Clyde (Clyde)
Joe Douglas
Douglas, Roy Lyndhurst
Driver, Edgar Benjamin
Edwards, Thomas Charles (DCM)
Ellis, Reburton Robert (Bert)
Evans, Harold Frederick
Farnsworth, John
Farr, Harold Roger
Farr, Samuel
Fleeting, Harold William
Frogley, John (Jack)
Garlick, Wentworth Ambrose G
Giblin, Lionel Esmond
Giffin, Cecil Bertram
Giffin, Hugh Kevin
Giffin, Leo John
Giffin, Roy
Giffin, Wallace Benjamin
Glen, Norman
Glynn, Walter
B Godden
Godden, Reginald Montague John
Goodman, Augustus Frederick
Goodman, Francis Clement
Goodman, GJ
Goodman, Geoffrey Tite
Gosper, Delmyr Gee
Gosper, James (Jim)
Gosper, Leonard John (MM)
Gosper, Sydney Allen
Gosper, Vincent ‘James’ (DCM)
Greig, Vernon Walter
Griffith, George Harold (Harold) (‘Cook’)
Griffith, George Whitehouse
Griffith, Hubert Henry
Hackworthy, George Harold (Military Cross)
Halcroft, Joseph Ambrose Sylvester (Syl)
Halcroft, Thomas William
Hamilton, Frank and Joe
Hamilton, James
Hamilton, John
Hamilton, Thomas Edward (Tommy)
Hamilton, William
Hattwell, Charles Henry Edwin
Hawe, William Harold
Hawkins, George Mervyn
Hembrough, John Ashton
Herlihy, William Bernard
Holcraft, S
Holman, T
Holman, Thomas Henry (Tom)
Hunt, Herbert William
Janson, Norman Leavy
Johnson, Ernest Edward (MM)
FW Johnson
Johnson, John Magnus (‘Jack’ or ‘Johnno’)
Corp William James Johnson
Jones, Edward (Ted)
Jones, Jack
Keech, Kenneth Gordon
Keech, Aubrey Charles
Percy Noel Keech
Alf Kelly
Kelly, Edward
Lancaster, William Henry
Lonsdale, Frank Leslie
Maddison, John Ernest
Maddison, Sidney Alfred
Maker, Ernest
Marshall, Samuel William
McEwen, R
McKenzie, Edwin
McLachlan, Daniel Livingstone (Dan)
Menzies, Harold Christopher
Miller, Charles Henry (MM)
Miller, Claude Giffin
Miller, Wilfred Arthur Carrington
Moss, DB and MG ‘George’
Mostyn, George
Murray, Frank
Murray, George (MM)
Murray, George Wren
Murray, Stanley
Murray, Walter Bruce
Murray, William Wallace
Packham, Claude Wesley
Packham, Cleve Hartley
Packham, Fred
Packham, Stanley James
Paddison, John William
Paddison, Leslie George
Paddison, Percy John
Paddison, Victor Willis Beer
Parker, C
Paull, James
Peck, Edward Raymond (Ray)
Petrie, AHA
Pittendrigh, Rev Corporal ‘Bob’ Robert Reginald Herwin
Pocknall, Benjamin Joseph
Prest, Allen
Pritchard, AG
Rea, Frank
Read, Cyril George Moore
Reece, Frederick Charles
Reed, C
Reid, C
Rice, Thomas
Rubie, Harold Barnett
Rubie, Phillip John Hessell
Sharpe, Harvey
Shepherd, C
Sheppard, C
Sheppard, AE/EA
Shrimpton, Walter Thomas
Sloggett, Harley Randolph
Stags, Barwon Barton
Stanford, John (Jack)
Stephens, Harold and Percy
Street, Jack
Stiff, William
Stone, Frank James
Sutton, Albert Henry
Sutton, Dudley Ernest Percival
Sutton, George Henry
Sutton, Oscar George
Thew, George Jospeh
Thompson, William Walker
Tom, James (Jim) Sydney
Townsend, Claude
Trelease, William Inson
Underwood, John Thomas (Jack)
Ward, Harry (Reck) (Reckless)
Watts, Gilbert Arthur
Weaver, Horace Kurnell
Whalan, Alfred Harper (MM)
Whalan, Richard Percy
Whalan, Glyndwr Montague
Wilson Royal Whalan
Williams, Howard Edward
Wilson, Ernest
Woodlands, Harry
Wright, Walter V


Nicholls, Heather 2006, Echoes of ANZAC: Manildra and district’s WWI story 1914-1918, Heather Nicholls, Orange, N.S.W.

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