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Sir William Glasgow Memorial

  • 602439
  • 270 Queen Street, Brisbane City


State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
13 May 2004
Monuments and memorials: Memorial/monument
8.6 Creating social and cultural institutions: Commemorating significant events
Mayo, Daphne
Construction period
1961–1964, Sir William Glasgow Memorial (1961c - 1964)
Historical period
1940s–1960s Post-WWII


270 Queen Street, Brisbane City
Brisbane City Council
-27.46705968, 153.02719151


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

The statue commemorates the role played by prominent Queenslander, Sir William Glasgow, in the major events of World War I and his service to the community.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

As a monument, prominently sited and erected by subscription as an enduring record of a person's public service and contribution to major historical events, the statue of Sir William demonstrates the principal characteristics of public memorials, being both a commemoration and exemplar of attributes admired by the community.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

The statue of Sir William Glasgow is important for the quality of its design and execution and the major contribution it makes to the streetscape.

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

It is significant for its connection with the life and work of the important Australian sculptor, Daphne Mayo, as her last major commissioned work.


The Sir William Glasgow Memorial was designed by Queensland sculptor Daphne Mayo and completed in 1964. It is in the form of a naturalistic bronze figure of Sir William, dressed in Australian Light Horse uniform and set on a granite plinth.

Thomas William Glasgow was born at Blackmount, near Tiaro, Queensland in 1876. He was educated at One Mile State School in Gympie and at Maryborough Grammar School. After leaving school he initially worked as a clerk in the office of a mining company, then as a bank clerk in Gympie. He joined the Wide Bay Regiment, Queensland Mounted Infantry, while still in his teens. In 1897 he was one of 20 chosen to represent Queensland at Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London. He served in the Boer War as a Lieutenant in the 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry Contingent, when he took part in the relief of Kimberley and the occupation of Bloemfontein. He was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1901, an unusual distinction for someone of his rank.

After the war Glasgow returned to his hometown and took over the operation of his father's grocery store together with his brother, though he married in 1904 and purchased a cattle station in central Queensland. In 1903, he had organised the 13th Light Horse Regiment at Gympie and was promoted to captain in 1906 and major in 1912. When war broke out in 1914 he was appointed to the AIF with the rank of major in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment, which embarked for Egypt in August 1914. Glasgow distinguished himself at Gallipoli and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In 1916 he became Brigadier-General in command of the 13th Australian Infantry Brigade on the Western Front.

His most memorable battle was at Villers-Bretonneux on 25 April 1918. Two Australian Brigades, including Glasgow's, had been given the task of recapturing this village, recently taken by the Germans and a key position. Glasgow's plan of attack differed from that put forward by the high command, but his opinion prevailed and the action was a great success, later described as a turning point in the war. After this battle Glasgow was promoted to Major General and given command of the Australian 1st Division.

In 1919 William Glasgow returned to Australia and was knighted. He continued in the pastoral industry but entered Federal Parliament as a Senator in 1920 and served as Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Defence. Between 1940 and 1945 he served as Australia's first High Commissioner to Canada.

Sir William died in Brisbane in 1955 and was given a State funeral. The Queensland Club set up a memorial fund and commissioned at statue by the important Australian sculptor, Daphne Mayo, in 1961.

Mayo studied in Brisbane under L J Harvey and was awarded the Wattle Day League travelling art fellowship in 1914. Although the outbreak of World War I delayed her taking up the fellowship, she travelled to London in 1918 at the war's end, and studied at the Royal Academy. There she won the Landseer Scholarship and the Edward Stott travelling scholarship to Rome. She returned to Brisbane in 1925 and began to exhibit her work in Brisbane and Sydney.

Daphne Mayo was most productive in the 1920s and 30s and she is probably best known for her allegorical work, The Progress of Civilization in the State of Queensland, on the tympanum of the Brisbane City Hall (1930) and the Women's War Memorial in Anzac Square, Brisbane (1929-30). She was awarded an MBE for her services to art in 1959 and became a Trustee of the Queensland Art Gallery. In 1964 her statue of Sir William Glasgow was completed and the work was dedicated on Anzac Day, 1966. It was Mayo's last major commission and she died in 1982.

The statue was originally sited on the Police Reserve at the corner of Ann and Roma Streets, but was moved to a triangular reserve near the Roma Street tunnel in 1968. A modern plinth sheeted with granite replaced the original sandstone plinth.

In February 2008 the statue was rededicated following its relocation to Post Office Square during the construction of the Inner Northern busway. The statue now faces Anzac Square.


The Sir William Glasgow Memorial is located on a paved area at the northwestern edge of Post Office Square, adjacent to Adelaide Street in Brisbane City. The memorial is comprised of a large statue standing on a stone plinth, and is in strong axial alignment with the Shrine of Remembrance in Anzac Square [QHR 600062]. Prominent vistas of the memorial are available from Anzac Square and from the sections of Adelaide and Queen streets that bound Post Office Square.

The Daphne Mayo designed, bronze statue of Glasgow is approximately 2.5 metres high and set on a tapered plinth. Panels of grey granite clad the plinth and bear gilt inscriptions detailing Glasgow’s career and service record. A square, stone base that supports the plinth has recent inscriptions on the top face, northwest and southeast of the statue, labelling details of the memorial’s rededication on 2 February 2008.

The statue depicts Glasgow in the uniform of an officer of the Light Horse holding a pair of field glasses. He is standing at ease in a relaxed and natural pose and gazes reflectively into the distance. The stamp of the foundry, Foundaria Natistica, Battaglia, Milan is imprinted on the bronze behind the statue's right heel.

Other elements of Post Office Square, including the above ground park area and lower level commercial spaces, are not considered to be of cultural heritage significance in relation to the Sir William Glasgow Memorial.

Image gallery


Location of Sir William Glasgow Memorial within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
14 November 2022
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