Keeping the ANZAC Memory Alive in Red Hill: Brisbane Church’s Stained Glass Masterpiece

Inside St Barnabas’ Anglican Church in Red Hill, a stunning stained glass window stands as a poignant tribute to those who served in the Gallipoli campaign during World War I, capturing the powerful imagery that defined the first ANZAC Day memorial service held in the city in 1916.

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The window’s design is based on the artwork that graced the front cover of the program for that inaugural ANZAC Day service over a century ago. 

Photo credit: St Barnabas Anglican Church Red Hill Brisbane Australia/Facebook

It depicts a solemn procession of soldiers and sailors from the various Allied forces that fought together at Gallipoli – an Australian infantryman, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Navy sailors, a New Zealand Maori soldier, an Indian soldier, and a French soldier. 

Photo credit: St Barnabas Anglican Church Red Hill Brisbane Australia/Facebook

During the first ANZAC Day march in Brisbane on 25 April 1916, a large crowd lined the streets and filled the balconies of surrounding buildings to watch a parade of soldiers on horseback, with the buildings decorated in flags, pennants, and a banner that read ‘Enlist Now.’

The first Anzac day parade in Brisbane, outside Brisbane’s General Post Office in Queen Street, 1916 (Photo credit: National Archives of Australia)

Their faces are etched with the stoicism and determination that defined the ANZACs, their uniforms and equipment meticulously rendered in vibrant shades of colour that breathe life into the scene.

Photo credit: St Barnabas Anglican Church Red Hill Brisbane Australia/Facebook

Dedicated in December 2018 by the Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall, the Archbishop of Brisbane at the time, in the presence of then Governor of Queensland, Paul de Jersey AC, the window’s installation was proudly supported by the Queensland Government. It now stands as one of the many war memorials throughout Brisbane that bear witness to the great losses of the war.

Former governor Paul de Jersey with St Barnabas Anglican Church priest, Rev Bill Colbrahams at the Heroes of Anzac window (Photo credit: St Barnabas Anglican Church Red Hill Brisbane Australia/Facebook)

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For the parishioners of St Barnabas’ and visitors to the church’s Anzac Chapel, the stained glass window offers a moment of quiet reflection and reverence. It is a tangible connection to the history that unfolded a century ago, preserving the iconic imagery of that first ANZAC Day for generations to come.

Published 10-April-2024