Trove Tuesday - Where was this photograph taken?

This week I had to go to Lismore for a couple of days for work. This morning I took the opportunity for an early swim at the local pool. Later in the morning I remembered that I had a photograph of my grandfather Don Dawson taken in what I had been told was Lismore. From memory there was a war memorial and some sort of large army vehicle and I thought I had been told it was somewhere near the pool. All I had to do was find the specific location. I decided that I wanted a then and now photograph. I'd get my photo taken in the same place as my grandfather.

Now where was the photo taken? There is a memorial at the pool and a large army gun. However, when I searched through the images on my computer and found the photograph there was no similarity as you can see by the images at this site.

Don Dawson

A search of Trove has uncovered an article in The Argus about the unveiling of the War Memorial in Lismore. Unfortunately it doesn't mention its exact location in Lismore.

The Argus (Melbourne), 20 April, 1931, p. 12

So assuming this photograph was taken in Lismore is was taken after 1931. The question still remains was the memorial in the photograph a Boer War or World War 1 memorial? The website, Boer War Memorial discusses the Lismore Boer War Memorial.

The Northern Rivers’ citizens wanted to erect a suitable memorial to honour the patriotism of local men who had served during the war. Lismore was selected as the site for the memorial and committees in surrounding towns and villages worked for over two years to raise money for the memorial’s construction. The design finally chosen was that of a life-sized figure of a lancer.

The memorial was unveiled in 1902 in the middle of the intersection of Woodlark and Keen Streets. So I can deduce that the photograph was not taken near the Boer War Memorial.

A search of the register of War Memorials in NSW states that there are two marble wall mounted memorials listing the names of the fallen from Lismore & District. These are located in the main entrance to the Lismore Memorial Baths. However, these marble memorials are not the same as those shown in the photograph.

Anyone reading this might be asking what about the building. In my rushed drive along a couple of the streets today I could not find a building that looked like this. So for the moment I have to leave my search unfinished and wonder if I will get a then and now photograph - my grandfather and I in the same place photographed probably about 80 years apart.

Does anyone recognise this location? Perhaps it's not even in Lismore!


  1. I was intrigued about this as I have a photo somewhere too that I want to try to identify the spot where it was taken. On the Boer War site
    it also says "The statue was relocated to the Lismore Memorial Baths corner Market and Molesworth Streets Lismore at some time (reputedly its third move)." I wonder if it is the same with the base slightly modified when it was moved. Maybe the photo was taken at the original site cnr Keen st and Woodlark (where you can still see the church and hotel referred to on the Boer War memorial site) and part of the telling of the story is that it is now near the memorial baths (rather than that is where the photo was taken). The building in the background could be the Commercial Hotel...what do you think ?

  2. Hi Sharon
    I think you may have been confused because there are two towns called Lismore, one in Victoria (and that's what the newspaper article is about) and one in New South Wales.

  3. Claire, I was only in Lismore for the day so next time I'm there I'll take a look at the Commercial Hotel and see if it looks a possibility. I might also send a copy to the local Historical Society.

  4. Lorraine, a very basic error on my behalf. Thanks for pointing it out to me.


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