Lieutenant General Sir William Birdwood at North Beach, Anzac, on the day of the final evacuation, 19 December 1915. Source: Anzac Portal
Lieutenant General Sir William Birdwood at North Beach, Anzac, on the day of the final evacuation, 19 December 1915. Source: Anzac Portal

ON THIS DAY: ‘Soul of Anzac’ visits Ipswich

THE Queensland Times has been covering all the local news for the past 161 years.

One hundred years ago the newspaper was 6 pages long and would have cost you one penny to buy.

Here's what made headlines in the May 4, 1920 edition of the paper.

GENERAL BIRDWOOD's VISIT

In connection with the visit of General Sir William Birdwood, to take place to-day, it is the intention of the General to detach himself from the column in Bell Street, in order to proceed to the Blackall Monument, to be in readiness to take the salute as the men come up Nicholas Street.

WHO WAS GENERAL BIRDWOOD

William Riddell Birdwood was put in command of the Australian and New Zealand Forces - which soon became the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps - in December 1914, just a few months after the start of WWI.

William Riddell Birdwood. Source: Anzac Portal
William Riddell Birdwood. Source: Anzac Portal

During his time in command, Birdwood's Corps headquarters was stationed on the hills just behind Anzac Cove, a space open to threats of Turkish shelling.

He was said to be well respected, often seen joining the troops along the trenches and sharing the same dangers as everyone else while swimming off the beach nearby.

Birdwood approved the abbreviation 'Anzac' and requested for the position held by Australians and New Zealanders be referred to as such, as well as requesting that the place where troops landed on April 25 be called Anzac Cove.

Lieutenant General Sir William Birdwood swimming at Anzac Cove, May 1915. Source: Anzac Portal
Lieutenant General Sir William Birdwood swimming at Anzac Cove, May 1915. Source: Anzac Portal

He has been described as the 'soul of Anzac'.

Birdwood toured Australia with his wife after the war ended. The Queensland Times article documents the moment he passed through Ipswich in 1920.

Birdwood died at his home in London in 1951, aged 85.

Find more information on William Birdwood on the Anzac Portal website.

Read more stories from Toni Benson-Rogan.