Parish Description

A Memorial Church

The Anglican Church of St Augustine’s Hamilton was built as a thank-offering to God for deliverance and peace, and as a War Memorial Church to the valour, sacrifice and endurance of Australian men and women who served in the Great War.

By the end of the hostilities, Australia had the highest casualty rate of the Allied Forces. Unable to lay loved ones to rest at home, Australians expressed their grief by erecting war memorials.

This beautiful church is an imposing two-story brick building set in leafy grounds on Racecourse Road, nick-named the ‘Jewel Box’ for its stunning stained-glass windows. After World War II a series of stained-glass windows were installed as a memorial to those who died in that war, including fifty-two parishioners. A prominent Queensland artist, William Bustard, designed the windows. The church is a war memorial commemorating both world wars. The tower was added to the church in 1961, dedicated to the men and women who served in World War II.

Different sections of the church represent different branches of the armed forces. The main body is a memorial to the Army, the organ loft to the Navy and the bell tower to the Air Force. In the area under the church is a Chapel, which is also a Columbarium. This chapel is open during the day for private prayer and reflection.

There are several historic texts on the church – refer to University of Queensland Library as a source. Acknowledgements to Brisbane Courier, & Brisbane City Council.

The Tower Bell

The church bell is a prominent feature of the building and reminds us of war memorials. It is also used for the celebration of weddings.

When the church bell rings at the start of a service, we acknowledge a moment of silence as we join with churches around the country in a time of worship, giving thanks to God.

The Memorial Bell

It is believed the bell dates back to 320AD, that Emperor Constantine hung the bell in a Romanian Church. During the First World War, British soldiers buried it in the beach, then seen by Australian soldiers who dug it up and took it on to Captain Thomson’s ship. It was received by the Diocese of Brisbane and given to St Augustine’s in the 1920s. The bell was stolen in 1978, and later returned from the Brisbane courts in 2000.

The bell plaque reads, ‘The Eastern Church Bell, rescued by the Allies in 1918 from a ruined mosque, is here restored to Christian use in memory of the HEROIC DEAD, being the gift of Capt. and Mrs. W. Campbell Thomson’.

Our High Regards for God

Saint Augustine or Austin of Canterbury, our patron Saint, died at Centerbury about 605 A.D. In 596, Pope Gregory sent a band of 40 Monks, led by Augustine to preach the Gospel to the heathen English. They arrived in Keny in 597 and were well received by Ethelbert, the local king, who himself, soon became a Christian.
‘Church of S. Augustine Hamilton Brisbane 1920 – 1970’

“Hoping that this generation will be as faithful to Him as the past – and so receive God’s blessing”
Rev. W. D. C. Dunbar ( 1952 – Third Rector)

Photo 1: The first St Augustine’s Church, Hamilton, in 1900.
Photograph from Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, Records and Archive Centre, HAMIS063-14.

Photo 2: The pineapple farm.

Photo 3: St Augustine’s Anglican Church and Rectory, 1920’s.

Historical Books

The following books are Copyright, and may be used by permission only. The files below are on Google Drive and may take a few moments to display. Each file is approximately 40MB. Please use the Zoom tool to fit to the width of your screen.

‘CHURCH OF S. AUGUSTINE HAMILTON BRISBANE 1920 – 1970’

Large files: (approx 30 to 40MB each)

1920-2000 Part 1
1920-2000 Part 2
1920-2000 Part 3
1920-2000 Part 4

Photo 1: Church near completion 1920.

Photo 2: Fly over salute, 1960’s

Photo 3: Upper level window plan:

East Wall: The Sanctuary | SAN windows (facing Racecourse Road)
South: Our (or The) Lady Chapel | C Windows
South Wall: S Windows including SFL Fanlight (Adoration of Magi) Window
Below Church : Columbarium – All Souls Chapel (not shown above) | COL Windows
West: West side of Church with Baptistry | W Windows
West Tower (Above with bell) : T Windows
West Above: Gallery | G Windows & Te Deum Windows | Pipe Organ
North Wall: N Windows
North: Vestry | V Windows

Photo 4: Photos of a slide taken by Harold A Gates.
Returned Servicemen – Australian Corps W.W.1.
Church parade at St Augustine’s Church, Anzac Day 1952.

Photo 5: Luncheon St Augustine’s Anzac Day 1952.
Photo by Harold A Gates.

Anzac Day