David John Garland

David John Garland (1864–1939) was an Anglican clergyman and a military chaplain in Queensland, Australia. As senior army camp chaplain in Queensland from 1914 to 1917, Garland experienced the World War I both at home and at the front. He was one of the originators of the now annual Anzac Day ceremonies. Described as an "overpoweringly energetic with a distinctive flair, if not genius, for organisation", he played a pivotal role in the Queensland experience of the war, and was a central figure in a variety of committees and organisations established to aid the war effort and support or commemorate serving or returned soldiers.[1][2]

Canon David John Garland.tiff
Canon David John Garland

Early life

Canon David John Garland, as a young man.tiff
Canon David John Garland, as a young man

David John Garland was born in Dublin on 4 October 1864, the son of James Garland and his wife Mary Ann (née Saunders).[3] He studied law and immigrated with his parents to New South Wales.[4]

Garland came to Brisbane in 1886. He worked in Toowoomba as a law clerk, where he was influenced by Reverend Tommy Jones at St James’ in Toowoomba and converted from his Irish Protestant faith to Anglo-Catholicism.[5] He became a lay reader at St James.[6]

Garland entered the Church of England ministry in 1889. He served as a deacon in Grafton, Quirindi and Narrandera in New South Wales. In 1892 he was sent to Perth, Western Australia, where he was ordained as a missionary priest by Bishop of Perth Henry Parry.[6] In 1892 he married a widow, Mary Hawkins, née Hadfield, and they had one son, David James Garland. From 1900 to 1902, he was canon of Perth.[4] Garland was a crusader for religious education in schools and devoted much energy to the Bible in State Schools League.[7] During the Boer War, he was chaplain to the soldiers assembling at Fremantle before heading overseas.[8] His last posting in Western Australia was at St John's in Northam, a congregation of whom he said "I never met a more docile and reverent congregation".[9]

In March 1902, he left Western Australia for St James's Church in Sydney to be a temporary replacement for Rev. Carr Smith who was travelling to Europe,[10] but the move may also have been motivated by a fallout with his bishop in Western Australia.[5] In Sydney he spoke out against the proposed federal Divorce Bill, arguing that making divorce easier would weaken marriage ties.[11]

In December 1902 Garland was appointed rector of St Paul's in Charters Towers,[12] a canon of St James Cathedral, Townsville, Queensland and was appointed archdeacon of North Queensland in 1903.[2] He continued his work in advocating bibles for state schools in Queensland.[2] From 1907 to 1912, Garland was rector at Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Woolloongabba in Brisbane.[13]

In August 1912, Garland moved to New Zealand to lead the Bibles in Schools movement in that country.[14]

World War I

Canon David John Garland - in uniform.tiff
Canon David John Garland, in uniform

At the outbreak of war Garland was in Brisbane, and served as chaplain to soldiers in training camps, as they prepared for active service overseas. He also organised the provision of Bibles and prayer books to Queensland soldiers at the front.[2] As a Senior Army Chaplain, Garland worked tirelessly in the training camps in and around Brisbane and further afield.[15]

In 1915 he founded the Soldiers Help Society. He also travelled Queensland as honorary organising secretary of the Queensland Recruiting Committee, preaching to encourage greater enlistment.[2] He was an ardent supporter of conscription, co-founded the Compulsory Service League, served on the Executive of the National Council for the Referendum and founder of the Universal Service League.[15]

Garland is perhaps most remembered as an architect and originator of Anzac Day ceremonies.[2] In Queensland on 10 January 1916, Garland was appointed the honorary secretary of the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland (ADCCQ) at a public meeting which endorsed 25 April as the date promoted as “Anzac Day” in 1916 and ever after. Devoted to the cause of a non-denominational commemoration that could be attended by the whole of Australian society, Garland worked amicably across all denominational divides, creating the framework for Anzac Day commemorative services.[16] Garland is specifically credited with initiating the Anzac Day march, the wreath-laying ceremonies at memorials and the special church services, the two minutes silence, and the luncheon for returned soldiers.[17] Garland intended the silence was used in lieu of a prayer to allow the Anzac Day service to be universally attended, allowing attendees to make a silent prayer or remembrance in accordance with their own beliefs. He particularly feared that the universality of the ceremony would fall victim to religious sectarian disputes.[18]

Through this period, Garland was an active correspondent with his fellow priest and army chaplain William Maitland Woods. Garland’s letters detailed his everyday duties as archdeacon and later canon in the Anglican Church. He detailed his involvement in the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee, and the establishment of Anzac Day in Queensland. He also wrote of his efforts in recruiting with varying degrees of optimism or despondency, depending on how the conscription debate was leaning. Both men exchanged news of their families, in particular their sons, who were on active service.[15]

The wartime letters cease in August 1917, with Garland’s news that he would be joining Woods in the Middle East, having been appointed representative of the Church of England in Australia to inquire into the "moral and social" needs of the Australian men in Egypt. With a large sum of money at his disposal, Garland had been placed in charge of the Church of England Fund for Soldiers at the Front.[15] Garland travelled to Egypt and served 1918-19 in the Middle East where he founded eight clubs for Australian troops, and was the first chaplain to celebrate the Eucharist in the Anglican chapel of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre following the expulsion of the Turks from Jerusalem. In addition he raised funds for memorials and hospitals, and for soldiers’ hostels and care of soldiers’ graves at home and abroad.[2]

Later life

Toowong Cemetery - War Memorial from South-East (2015)
Stone of Remembrance and Cross of Sacrifice in Toowong Cemetery, 2015

Upon his return to Queensland in 1920, Garland became rector of Ithaca and continued a diverse and illustrious career of community involvement, including presidency of the New Settlers’ League from 1926.[15] He was awarded an O.B.E. in 1934.[2]

From 1920 until 1930, Garland conducted Anzac Day ceremonies in Toowong Cemetery. In 1924, through his fund-raising efforts, a Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance were placed in the cemetery. On Remembrance Day 1930, ANZAC Square in the Brisbane CBD was officially opened and the services at Toowong Cemetery were transferred to ANZAC Square.[19]

Garland died on 9 October 1939 and was buried on 10 October 1939 in Toowong Cemetery.[2][20]


The Canon Garland Memorial Society was established on 9 July 2013 at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Woolloongabba, Brisbane. The society seeks to honour David Garland's role during the Australian centenary commemorations of World War I.[21]

In November 2015, the Brisbane City Council officially opened a lawn garden called Canon Garland Place at Toowong Cemetery with a commemorative information board. Canon Garland Place is located where he held his Anzac Day services in the cemetery and behind The Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance that were funded through Garland's fundraising activities.[19]

Canon Garland memorial, Kangaroo Point cliffs, 2016
Canon Garland memorial, Kangaroo Point cliffs, 2016

In April 2016, a memorial to Garland was unveiled at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs in Brisbane.[22] The bronze wreath was sculpted by Rhyl Hinwood.[23]

The State Library of Queensland holds various collections of Garland’s papers. In 2015, the State Library digitised his First World War letters.[24] This collection consists of letters received by Garland from Australian army soldiers, nurses and chaplains serving abroad during World War I, as well as carbon copies of his replies. Also included are letters from his colleague The Reverend William Maitland Woods regarding the discovery, evacuation and transportation to Australia of the Shellal Mosaic. Transcriptions of the digitised letters are also available. Some of Garland’s letters are also part of the OM74-101 Maitland Woods Papers 1915-1916.[2][25]


  1. ^ Mansfield, Wendy M. "Garland, David John (1864–1939)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre for Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hamilton, Robyn (14 October 2015). "Digitised@SLQ: Letters of army chaplain David John Garland". SLQ blogs. State Library of Queensland. Archived from the original on February 16, 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  3. ^ Ancestry User: csibbing. "David John Garland 1864–1939". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  4. ^ a b Unidentified, Canon David John Garland, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, retrieved 17 February 2016
  5. ^ a b Moore, Claire (19 April 2016). "ADJOURNMENT Garland, Canon David John, OBE". Open Australia. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Induction of Canon Garland". The Evening Telegraph. 2, (549). Queensland, Australia. 18 December 1902. p. 2. Retrieved 20 June 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ Canon David John Garland: 'the architect of Anzac Day'. Information board in Toowong Cemetery: Brisbane City Council. 2015.
  8. ^ "The 'Architect of ANZAC Day'". The Canon Garland Memorial Society. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Farewell to Canon Garland". The Northam Advertiser. IX, (734). Western Australia. 12 March 1902. p. 3. Retrieved 20 June 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Local and General News". The Northam Advertiser. IX, (728). Western Australia. 19 February 1902. p. 2. Retrieved 20 June 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "BREVITIES". Evening News (10, 949). New South Wales, Australia. 15 July 1902. p. 6. Retrieved 20 June 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ "PERSONAL". The Brisbane Courier. LIX, (13, 999). Queensland, Australia. 24 November 1902. p. 5. Retrieved 20 June 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ "Holy Trinity Church". Canon Garland Memorial Society. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Canon Garland Leaving for New Zealand". The Brisbane Courier (16, 982). Queensland, Australia. 17 June 1912. p. 6. Retrieved 20 June 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ a b c d e Hamilton, Robyn (8 May 2014). "The Reverend William Maitland Woods – Army Chaplain A.I.F." SLQ blogs. State Library of Queensland. Archived from the original on February 10, 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  16. ^ "The "Architect" of Anzac Day". Canon Garland Memorial Society. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  17. ^ Mansfield, Wendy M. Garland, David John (1864–1939). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  18. ^ perkinsy. "The Anzac Day Silence, Religion and Garland". Stumbling Through the Past. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
  19. ^ a b "Council continues to honour ANZAC heroes ahead of Remembrance Day". Graham Quirk, Lord Mayor of Brisbane. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Deceased info". Brisbane City Council. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  21. ^ "About Us". The Canon Garland Memorial Society. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Memorial unveiled for Brisbane's 'architect of Anzac Day'". ABC News. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  23. ^ de Jersey, Paul (22 April 2016). "Official Unveiling, Dedication and Handover Ceremony for the "Canon Garland Memorial – ANZAC Day Origins"". Government House, Brisbane. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  24. ^ Canon David John Garland Papers, 1915-1918; 1934, 1915, retrieved 17 February 2016
  25. ^ Woods, Maitland (1915), Maitland Woods Papers, 1915-1916, retrieved 17 February 2016


This Wikipedia article incorporates text from Digitised@SLQ: Letters of army chaplain David John Garland (14 October 2015) by Robyn Hamilton published by the State Library of Queensland under CC-BY licence, accessed on 17 February 2016.


This Wikipedia article incorporates text from The Reverend William Maitland Woods – Army Chaplain A.I.F. (8 May 2014) by Robyn Hamilton published by the State Library of Queensland under CC-BY licence, accessed on 17 February 2016.


Further reading

  • Moses, John Anthony; Davis, George F., 1942-, (author.) (2013), Anzac Day origins : Canon DJ Garland and Trans-Tasman commemoration, Barton, A.C.T. Barton Books, ISBN 978-1-921577-16-1CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

1934 Birthday Honours

The King's Birthday Honours 1934 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of King George V to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of The King. They were published on 4 June 1934.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

Anzac Day

Anzac Day () is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the Great War (1914–1918).

David Garland

David Garland may refer to:

David Garland (musician) (born 1954), singer-songwriter, composer, and radio personality

David E. Garland (born 1947), Dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary

David S. Garland (1769–1841), U.S. Representative from Virginia

David W. Garland (born 1955), professor of law and sociology

David Siteman Garland, American author

David John Garland (1864–1939), Anglican clergyman in Queensland, Australia

David Garland (footballer) (born 1948), English footballer

History of Queensland

The history of Queensland encompasses both a long Aboriginal Australian presence as well as the more recent European settlement. Before being charted and claimed for Great Britain by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770, the coast of north-eastern Australia was explored by Dutch and French navigators. Queensland separated from the Colony of New South Wales in 1859.

Queensland Recruiting Committee

The Queensland Recruiting Committee was a volunteer organisation in Queensland, Australia, which urged Queensland men to enlist for military service during World War I. It operated from May 1915 to December 1916, when it was replaced by an Australian Government recruitment organisation, the Queensland State Recruiting Committee.

Queensland State Recruiting Committee

The Queensland State Recruiting Committee was established by the Australian Government in December 1916 to encourage Queensland men to enlist in the Australian Imperial Forces after the failure of the first conscription plebiscite in 1916. It replaced the volunteer Queensland Recruiting Committee which operated from May 1915 to December 1916.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Brisbane

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral is a heritage-listed cathedral at 330-334B Vulture Street, Kangaroo Point, Queensland, Australia. It was designed by Gregory Mechonoshin and Cavanagh and Cavanagh and built from 1935 to 1950s by B Robinson. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.

Toowong Cemetery

Toowong Cemetery is a heritage-listed cemetery on the corner of Frederick Street and Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong, City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was established in 1866 and formally opened in 1875. It is Queensland's largest cemetery and is located on forty-four hectares of land at the corner of Frederick Street and Mount Coot-tha Road approximately four and a half kilometres west of Brisbane. It was previously known as Brisbane General Cemetery. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 31 December 2002.Although still used as a cemetery, it is a popular place for joggers and dog walkers, with its over-hanging fig trees and winding pathways. The Friends of Toowong Cemetery conduct tours through the cemetery as well as providing a series of self-guided themed walks through the cemetery. Guided "ghost tours" are conducted through the grounds of the cemetery on Friday and Saturday nights.

William Maitland Woods

William Maitland Woods (4 January 1864 – 6 February 1927) was an Anglican clergyman and a military chaplain in Queensland, Australia.

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