ROYAL AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS ASSOCIATION (TAS)
Pictured above is a sketch of the Helen Quilty painting of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals Association Memorial at Anglesea Barracks, Hobart. It serves both as a memorial to deceased members who served in the Corps and the entrance to the Memorial Corner where there is a commemorative wall containing twenty two military headstones relocated from the old St David’s Park burial ground and an elaborate memorial to the 99th Regiment.
The archway in the memorial was retrieved from the old Bath Inn near Lemon Springs, a few kilometres South of the Oatlands township. Some thought that the name Bath Inn was derived from the insignia of a bath above the front entrance but the real reason was because it was in the District of Bath.
The original Bath Inn was located at the Lemon Springs homestead some two kilometres away where John Page held the licence in 1833. When the new road was
opened in 1843, John Page built a new Bath Inn of fine stonework and a fanlight above the front entrance. In 1863 the name was changed to the Coach and Horses Hotel and was owned by Denis Bacon, a celebrated stonemason. The old newspaper cutting advertising the Coach and Hoses Hotel still shows J Page as the Proprietor.
The name Lemon Springs dates back to 1808 when Tasmania’s first bushranger, Richard Lemon was operating in the area and one of his gang named Mansfield promised to procure some supplies but instead turned up with two bottles of rum. Lemon and his compatriot consumed the rum and next morning Mansfield shot the still drunken Lemon in the head and claimed the reward.
The former Commandant of 6th Military District, Col. K R G. Coleman MC eventually became the owner with the intention of restoring the old inn and converting it into a Tea Room, but unfortunately, vandals destroyed it by fire in 1971. The Col. Comdt. Royal Australian Signals 6 MD, H/Col John H Hall then bought the property and used most of the stone to enlarge his “Wash Cottage” at Andover.
Col. Hall was also President of the Royal Australian Signals Association (Tas) and arranged with 6 MD Headquarters to have the stone archway entrance to the inn removed and re–erected in its present position as the main feature of the Signals Memorial. Sappers of the 21st Construction Squadron took three weeks to erect the archway and face the reverse side with Pontville stone. Headstones of two British soldiers are let into the reverse side of the wall, one on either side of the entrance.
This fine example of Colonial architecture was dedicated as the Royal Australian Corps of Signals Memorial by Army Chaplains on the 12th October 1974. Members of 146 Signal Squadron, 124 Signal Troop and Association Members accompanied by the Army Band marched from the Officer’s Mess to the Memorial. The Hon. Sir Stanley Burbury KBE unveiled a bronze plaque and addressed the gathering. The Director of Communications; Col. Ray Clark read the “Corps Collect” and former President; Mr. Donald Hughes recited “The Ode of Remembrance”. The bugle calls were sounded, followed by the Royal Salute and March Off.
To mark the occasion of the 50th.Anniversary of the Association in 1995, the rear of the Memorial was upgraded as shown in the painting and a solid bronze plaque depicting eighty names of those who had served the Corps and passed on was unveiled The 50th Anniversary functions included Commemoration Day, 15th October 1995 when the Princess Anne Banner was paraded at the Memorial
In the year 2000 the Association commissioned Helen Quilty, daughter of Past President, Secretary and Life Member, Mr Donald Hughes to produce a watercolour of the Memorial to mark the 75th Anniversary of the formation of the Corps. The painting was officially unveiled at the statewide Association Reunion held in Launceston on 4th March 2000. The painting was later presented to the Military Museum for display in various army offices at Anglesea Barracks and at present is hung in the Museum. The Memorial has been the focal point of Remembrance each Anzac Day and Commemoration Day since 1975 until the year 2006 when it was decided to delete the Anzac Day service from the Association diary.
(Continuing the tradition, since 1995, the Association has continued to collect the names of members/former members of the Corps who wish to have their names added to the Memorial Wall. Once each group of 40 names is achieved, another solid bronze plaque is struck and mounted on the wall. As a temporary measure, until each 40 person group is complete, temporary metal nameplates are mounted. Families of deceased Corps members can also arrange to have the name of their relative included on a future memorial plaque by contacting the President or Treasurer to make the necessary arrangement. The fee ($20 members, $50 non-members) for each name to be included on a plaque also assists with the maintenance of the Memorial)
Fees can be remitted via post (cheque or money order) to the Treasurer, 170 Molesworth Rd, MOLESWORTH Tas 7140.