History of the region during World War I


With the outbreak of war in Europe in August 1914 the Australian Government committed the nation to supporting Britain and its allies in the defeat of the German aggressor. To meet this obligation the Australian army required rapid expansion and did this by calling for volunteers. Men flocked to enlist, but initially entry requirements were strict. The plan was to have half the contingent made up of men with experience, either already serving in the army, trained militiamen, or those with previous war service. The rest of the force was to be made up of physically fit volunteers between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years who were five feet six inches and above. However, enlistments began to decline. With the news of the Gallipoli campaign there was again an upsurge in enlistments and meetings were held to encourage men to volunteer. The physical requirements were relaxed.

1916 again saw a reduction in enlistments. After the disastrous Somme offensives in France with its high casualty rate and the huge loss of life, the Australian Government agreed to supply more troops. Pressure was put on men to enlist. They were told it was their duty to join up. Eloquent and stirring addresses were given throughout the country with speakers maintaining that Australians were compelled to go to war in view of the German objective of world domination. Public pressure could explain the enlistments of older married men at this time.

Times and places of enlistment were advertised in the local papers. In the Moreton Bay Region these were mostly situated at the following:

  • Caboolture Shire Hall
  • North Pine Railway Station
  • Redcliffe Shire Hall
  • Woodford Railway Station

At the outbreak of the First World War the area that now comprises City of Moreton Bay was made of up three individual local government areas, the Caboolture, Pine Rivers and Redcliffe Shire councils. These were mainly small, lowly populated farming communities.

Wartime census populations

Census districts Males Females Persons
Caboolture 397 367 764
Pine North 245 188 433
Pine South 57 41 98
Redcliffe 198 249 447
Strath Pine 117 104 221

Service Personnel

A database of servicemen and women from the Moreton Bay Region has been compiled primarily from honour boards and memorials across the region. Included are people who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Born in the district
  • Attended school in the district
  • A strong family connection with the region at that time
  • Must have lived in the region prior to joining up or immediately after (within 5 years)
  • Name is recorded on a local memorial or honour board.

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WWI Memorial and Honour Boards

Funded through the Queensland Anzac Centenary Grants program, this is a guide to some of the region’s WWI war memorials, focusing on those constructed between 1916-1930. The collection provides an opportunity for families and visitors to share stories about the war and the memorials in the region. It contains photos and a brief history of the memorials themselves, as well as listing names on the memorials. This is part of Moreton Bay Region Library’s WWI centenary commemorations.

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