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Howard War Memorial (Miners in World War I)
The town of Howard was established after the discovery of coal in the Burrum River and the beginning of coal mining. Men from the town and surrounding district (including Torbanlea, Burrum, and Toogoom) rushed to enlist when war broke out in World War I. Some of the men joined tunneling companies that dug under enemy trenches, a unique and fascinating dimension of war on the Western Front that required experienced miners. The war memorial was opened in 1921. Howard residents are responsible for a unique Anzac Day tradition. Originally known as the ‘Dawn Patrol’, returned service personnel who passed away and are buried in the Howard Cemetery are remembered every year on Anzac Day with the placing of a poppy on their graves. This long-standing tradition is carried out before dawn. White wooden blocks are placed on the graves before the day so they can be found in the dark and replaced with a poppy. The first Dawn Patrol took place in 1937.
The Howard War Memorial, commemorating soldiers from the Burrum district (Howard, Torbanlea, Burrum Heads and Toogoom) was unveiled in 1921 by Brigadier-General C.D.W. Rankin, then manager of the Howard colliery. This digger statue was made in Italy, which was common for the time due to the demand for memorials after the Great War and the shortage of masons in Australia.