Kincumber War Memorial Centenary December 20, 1919- December 20, 2019
Kincumber War Memorial Centenary
1919-2019 Notes by Geoffrey Potter, Local History Librarian

In 1919 the World was reeling from the losses brought about by the “Great War of 1914-1918”, as it was then called. Families had lost fathers, sons and husbands in battle. Whole generations of young men had been lost to communities. In some only the very young and very old remained.

Kincumber was one of many Australian towns and villages feeling these losses at War’s end.

During April 1918 news reached Kincumber that local man Lance-Corporal Sidney Lansdowne had been killed at Boves, France. The idea arose within the community for some form of memorial. Early meetings were held, and while it was thought to be a good idea, it was decided that (as the War was still in progress) that such action to build a monument might be premature.

The signing of the Armistice which ended the war on November 11, 1918 galvanised the Kincumber community once again. At a public meeting held in the School of Arts on December 7, 1918 sad news was received that Trooper Clive Frost had died at Port Said, Egypt. The meeting was adjourned because of this news, with no decision being arrived at. Following this, the parents of the Lansdowne and Frost were asked what their preferred form a memorial might take. A Committee was elected with Mr John Pryce, headmaster of Kincumber Public School as the Chairman, and Mr Tom Humphrey as Honorary Treasurer.

Four designs were submitted to a meeting held on March 15, 1919. The successful design by T. Andrews and Sons of Lidcombe was selected. At the time of acceptance, the finished monument would cost £74 15s 9d and be railed free to Gosford. Later, with improvements such as fencing and gardens, the final cost was put at £125.

The Committee agreed that the best available site was at the entrance to Kincumber Public School, where [it will be] “a constant reminder to the rising generation of the devotion and self-sacrifice of the brave lads of the district who heard their Country’s call in the hour of peril”.

The memorial was erected entirely by volunteer labour. The Committee undertook site preparations, prepared the foundations and sub-base, and erected the Parramatta sandstone monument under supervision of Mr Harold Andrews. By August 1, 1919 work had been mostly completed, though it was decided that the “In Memoriam” tablet would not be finished “until the last of our men arrived home”. The last Kincumber man arrived home in December 1919. On Saturday December 20, 1919 the memorial was unveiled by General Macarthur-Onslow. Many locals gathered and the School and surroundings was bedecked in many flags and bright bunting. Following speeches given by the General and Committee members, the children attending were entertained at a picnic in the school grounds. Games and races were held, with every child being pronounced a winner.
Despite having a very small population at the time, the Gosford Times newspaper article of December 24, 1919 said that the Memorial erected “would do credit to a township of ten times Kincumber’s size”.

an article from the Gosford Times newspaper of December 24, 1919 can be read here KINCUMBER. (1919, December 24). The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved November 22, 2019, from

Anzac to Armistice Dossier Clive Harris Frost

Anzac to Armistice Dossier Sidney Ernest Lansdowne

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