Rothwell history

The suburb of Rothwell was named for Thomas James Rothwell OBE.

"In choosing Rothwell as the name of one of Redcliffe’s newest suburbs, the council was influenced by the fact that the late Mr. Rothwell was among that small group was men responsible in 1921 for the construction of the first highway from Petrie to the Peninsula." (Redcliffe Herald, 11 Nov 1970, p. 19)

Thomas James Rothwell, OBS, was born at Ealing, Middlesex, England, on 30 November 1869. He came to Australia in 1883 and after following journalism for a while took up commercial life. He became a partner in the firm of Morrisby and Co, Newcastle and Maitland, later bought out his partners, and then sold out his entire interests and returned to England in 1896. Finding the climate unsuitable, he returned to Australia and started business in his own name in Brisbane in 1897 - Rothwells Outfitters Ltd in Edward Street.

Rothwell took an active part in public work, founding the transport corps which conveyed the wounded on their return from the Great War.

Mr Rothwell was president of the Royal Automobile Club for three years during which period the club made great progress and became a power of good in connection with traffic and road problems. It was while he was president of this organisation that he started the movement that resulted in the construction of the Anzac Memorial Avenue. By levying his members, he raised 24,000 pounds towards the cost of the job. It was Mr Rothwell’s earnest wish to see the avenue lined with trees, and he organised big drives as president of the public committees which collected over 6,000 pounds towards the work.

Thomas Rothwell died in 1928. A stone obelisk was erected as a memorial to him at the junction of Anzac Avenue and Deception Bay Road. It was moved to its present location on the western side of the road before construction of the roundabout. 

The Queensland Place Names Board approved the naming of the suburbs for the city of Redcliffe in 1971.