The Mologa War Memorial is a lasting place of commemoration; a lonely reminder of a once thriving Victorian town and a testament to its community today. Tuesday, 24 March, 2020, marks 100 years since the memorial to the soldiers of WWI was unveiled by my great-grandmother Sarah Marlow and my grandfather Allan Marlow. Only a few months before, at the conclusion of 1919, the devastating influenza epidemic known as the Spanish flu had been declared over.

The Pyramid Hill Advertiser reported that:

Mologa Soldiers Memorial   

The residents of this district have worthily placed on record their estimation of their soldiers by erecting a handsome stone column, which was unveiled on Wednesday 24th, by Mrs C. Marlow, to whom the honour was justly due, as is well known, by the fact that five of her sons volunteered, of whom three are in soldier’s graves in France … In the unveiling ceremony Lieut. A. Marlow escorted his mother on to the platform and the large assemblage stood bareheaded as the cords were cut and the covering Union Jack removed from the pedestal.

The memorial lists 28 young men who were associated with this small community of Mologa. There were 22 Anzacs who listed the town as their place of birth and 14 who called Mologa home at their time of enlistment.  Ten of these young men were never to return. By and large they were neighbours, they were mates, and they were family. They left with a sense of duty and some with a sense of adventure. Three sons of Sarah and Charles Marlow did not make it home – 25 year-old Charlie, 24 year-old George and 19 year-old Albert.  A further seven sons are listed on this memorial under the heading Supreme Sacrifice – Will Street, Les Townsend, Jack Price, Ray Leed, Robert Campbell, Pat Ryan and Daniel O’Sullivan.  

Also listed are those Mologa men whose luck held out and who made it home, some with physical scars and some with wounds they carried in their darkest moments and in their nightmares – Tom Alford, James Dillon, Charles Fyffe, David Fyffe, Alf Ferris, Tom Gray, Amos Haw, Knowlson Haw, Ewen Johnston, William Leed, Allan Marlow, Percy Marlow, Hugh Martin, Andrew Price, John Ryan, Michael Ryan, Herb Street and Wilsie Townsend.

Mologa had suffered greatly. Of those who listed Mologa as home, 10 of the 14 of its gallant soldiers were buried on distant shores. For families like those of Sarah and Charles Marlow, like the Townsends, the Leeds, the Prices, the Campbells , the Ryans and so many more across the world,  no amount of patriotic words could ease their pain.  Creating lasting memorials to their young men became a priority and it was on 6 December 1918, that the community of Mologa gathered as reported in the Pyramid Hill Advertiser:

In a corner of a nicely shaded and grassy paddock on Mr Pickles’ farm on Wednesday, a good number of district residents assembled at a picnic arranged for the purpose of raising funds to set up a suitable memorial to soldiers from the locality to recognise the valour of all and to keep in memory those who have fallen in the fight.

The Spanish Flu

The deadly Spanish Influenza virus was shortly after detected in Victoria. In January 1919, the state was placed in quarantine. Public meetings were banned, public buildings shut, restrictions were placed on long-distance train travel and the border between NSW and Victoria was closed. The virus soon spread to other states. It was not until the end of 1919 that the pandemic was over.

Today, we are dealing with a similar pandemic of a century ago – a deadly virus that has impacted our world and threatens those we love. My hope is, as we all adjust to the changes taking place in our lives, that we take time to reflect and consider others. Let’s endeavour to emulate that same sense of community spirit of one hundred years before. The people rallied, they persevered and their monument was built.   

Thnak you to the Mologa and District Landcare Group  who care for the memorial today

More information about Mologa and its Anzacs can be found in:

Anzacs Sons: the Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars

Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front (children’s version)

Or visit