Faces of the Fallen

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, the University of Queensland Archives, undertook a project to honour the staff and students of the University who died during the First World War and whose names are listed on a memorial plaque found inside the foyer of the Forgan Smith building.  Initially the project’s goal was to locate and publish a photograph of each of the thirty three individuals, but over time it expanded to include an additional thirty seven individuals from the Queensland Agricultural College, known today as UQ Gatton.

Following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, students and staff from both institutions followed the ground swell of patriotism and enlisted in large numbers.  In total nearly three hundred were involved in active overseas and home service during the war.  From the beginning of Australia’s involvement in active combat on the Gallipoli peninsula, where thirteen men died, to the seemingly endless slaughter on the Western Front and the Middle East, the members of both institutions paid a heavy toll in the fighting. 

Young lives were not only lost in actual combat.  Four students died from sickness during the war, and two, one as a result of the effects of poison gas, passed away after the war.  Two more students died as a result of accidents, one in an airplane crash while a popular lecturer drowned in Russia in August 1919 during a post war military intervention.

While memorial plaques were created at both institutions to remember the fallen, it is hoped that the ‘Faces of the Fallen’ project ensures we never forget they were young men full of life, intelligence and adventure who sacrificed their lives doing what they believed was the right thing.  They were more than just names to the people who loved them; they were individuals who were loved by many and missed forever by their families and friends. 

You can view the video and the accompanying booklet of Faces of the Fallen on UQ eSpace.

Bruce Ibsen, University Archivist

Last updated:
26 April 2016