Honour Boards have been very much in evidence on the interior walls of Salvation Army Citadels and Halls since the end of World War I.
They provide an honour roll of Salvationists who served their country in time of war. Those who gave the supreme sacrifice are particularly denoted. On an interior wall of the Brunswick Citadel is a bronze plaque embossed with the names of the Bandsmen who died as a result of the Japanese invasion of Rabaul.
The memorial pine grove with bronze plaques
Also at Brunswick, on the Band Room wall is a large ornate wooden shield bearing the names of Brunswick Salvationists who served in the Armed Forces during World War II. The Shield was presented by the Perth Fortress Band, which suffered its Bandmaster, Bluey Palmer, being killed in action whilst a stretcher-bearer during an Australian advance against the Vichy French in Syria in 1942. Mounted in frames around this shield are portraits of the seven Brunswick bandsmen of the 2/22nd Battalion.
The 2/22nd Battalion bandsmen from seven other Salvation Army Corps are similarly remembered, usually in goldleaf on varnished timber, on honour rolls in their place of worship. Some boards have disappeared in the passage of time, but others have prominence, often now in newer buildings. Of the 23 Salvation Army Bandsmen of the 2/22nd Battalion Band (there were also two non-Salvationists), six also played in the elite Melbourne Staff Band in addition to their usual Corps’ band commitment.
On the wall of the Staff Band Room is a striking bronze plaque commemorating their sacrifice. At the Inala Senior Citizens’ Residence in Blackburn, there is a beautiful Memorial Rose Garden. A well-tended rose bush with a personalized bronze plaque accompanies each one.
They stand before two white flag poles bearing both the National flag and The Salvation Army flag, enforcing the concept of their service under two flags! Originally, the individual bronze plaques addressed slender pines planted in memoriam at the Salvation Army’s Box Hill Boys’ Home.
Upon sale of the property the plaques were transferred to their present location. The Salvation Army sold the property in 2005, but retains legal access for its maintenance. Most older Salvationist know something of the tragic story of Arthur Gullidge and the 2/22nd Battalion Band.
Sadly, less of the current generation are so informed. This is being addressed through the efforts of the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society and friends.