Key war memorial damaged after 122 years standing tall

ABOVE: Damage to the Mafeking Lamp in Casino. Photo: Contributed

Susanna Freymark

Here is an update to the story below.

Man pleads guilty over vandalised war memorial, other will face court again

The 1901 Mafeking Lamp on the roundabout at Walker and Barker streets in Casino tipped over some time last night, Sunday, June 18.

Casino RSL Sub-branch secretary Owen Newell said he had never seen the lamp like that.

The lamp commemorates the Australians who fought in the Boer War.

Richmond Valley Council will fix the lamp as soon as possible, he said.

The council said the much loved 122 years old Mafeking Lamp was in need of a bit of TLC.

“The column parted ways with its base on Sunday in what looks more like a case of wear and tear rather than vandalism,” the council said.

The lamp will get a bit of a refurbishment in the process as there is some rust “coming through”, Mr Newell said.

The council will work with the Casino RSL Sub-branch to seek funding to repair or replace the lamp.

Photo: Richmond Valley Council

On Victoria Day, May 24, 1901, the war memorial was dedicated and handed over to the Casino Municipal Council.

The memorial, named after the Siege of Mafeking during the Boer War, has several plaques attached including the insignias of the Australian Defence Forces.

At the base of the memorial are four inscriptions – three dedicated to the areas in which sieges occurred, Ladysmith, Kimberley, Mafeking, as well as listing the names of the commanders and relieving commanders. The fourth lists the names of the soldiers from the Richmond River region who served.

Anzac Day service at the Mafeking Lamp in Casino. Photo: Contributed

Did you know?

The Boer wars were between Britain and two South African Boer colonies.

Initially all six Australian self-governing colonies in (they later became states) sent troops. After the States federated on January 1, 1901, the Commonwealth sent troops.

And so the Boer War was the first war that the Commonwealth of Australia fought in.

Most Aussies fought on the British side in official contingents, but some volunteers went separately and in an unofficial capacity, joined the Boer side.

So some Australians found themselves fighting their own countrymen.

More than 1000 Australians died or went missing in the war.

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