Mackay's WWI cenotaph relays the loss of 159 local men killed in active service, eight of whom were awarded military decorations.
The cenotaph, originally unveiled on the southern bank of the Pioneer River near Sydney Street Bridge in 1929, was designed by Townsville architect Stephen Harvey who waived his fee to supervise its erection.
The 9.1 metre high memorial bears rich symbolism: the approach to a mausoleum-like pedestal represents the great loss of life incurred during this conflict and the nation's grief for bodies buried where they fell; Latin crosses and the three-stepped base echo the strong foundations of Christianity; the white marble orb at the top represents the British Empire, held high by a Doric column, symbolic of strength. A dark grey vein running though the marble at an angle gives the impression of a cracked or broken column; symbolic of life cut short.
The memorial also bears a unique bronze relief sculpture: the side profile of a helmeted head.
WWI enticed 1,594 volunteers from Mackay and another 36 from nearby Nebo district.
The memorial, moved twice since its unveiling, stands in Jubilee Park with memorials to later conflicts.