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Frederick William Gadsby ANNAND DSO & Bar VD

Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Lieut Col 7 May 1872 - 43y 17 Oct 1919 5

Frederick William Gadsby ANNAND  (1887-1958)   


Early years

Frederick William Gadsby Annand was born on 7 May 1872 at Toowoomba, the son of a rural worker, James Annand of Elgin, Scotland and his wife Harriet, née Gadsby.

Frederick was educated at the High School, Toowoomba in Queensland and worked for a while in the Australian Mutual Provident Society and on Burenda Station near Augathella in the Warrego District before establishing an agency business in Toowoomba in 1895. On 1 June 1898 he married Helen Alice Robinson. He founded an accounting firm, Annand & Leichney, in Margaret Street, Toowoomba in 1899.  He gained a Certificate of Competency under the Local Auditors’ Board and became auditor for local government authorities.

Frederick Annand left the accounting partnership in 1905 to manage the Brisbane Permanent Building and Banking Company Ltd (now the Bank of Queensland).   Under his leadership the firm became a sound and profitable organisation.

Service in the Defence Force

He joined the Queensland Defence Force and became a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, Queensland Mounted Infantry, in Toowoomba in 1897.  After transferring to Brisbane he joined the Royal Australian Engineers, was promoted Captain to command the 5th Field Company, then Major on 6 February 1911, commanding the 3rd Field Company and later the 23rd Engineers (Signal Company).

Link to Saint Andrew's

Mr and Mrs Annand were members of Wharf Street Congregational Church in Brisbane and Frederick was appointed a Deacon in 1913 and Church Treasurer soon afterwards.

Reporting early in 1916 on “the war”, church leaders informed the congregation: 

“Our Treasurer (Major Annand) left early in the year in command of the 7th Field Engineers, and after some months in Egypt was transferred to the Front in France. He has since been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and is in command of the 2nd Pioneer Battalion of Sappers and Miners (Australian), consisting of 1,030 men with machine gun section and 100 horses. We congratulate our friend on his well-earned promotion.”

Service in France

During Lieutenant-Colonel Annand’s service in France, where he bore heavy responsibility in command of troops, he gained several honours and awards. He was mentioned in dispatches four times and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for conspicuous gallantry in the Field.  He was wounded by gun shot in November 1916, causing a period of some weeks in hospital in London. He returned to duty in February 1917.

The success of another engagement on 5 October 1918 at Montbrehain near Peronne earned him a Bar to the DSO. On this occasion, the citation said: 

“In charge of a pioneer battalion, he succeeded in carrying out a very difficult relief in pitch darkness. A few hours after this he ably carried out a flanking movement to the attack on the town of Montbrehain, driving back the enemy and ensuring a defence which proved to be unbreakable."

“His reconnaissances had to be carried out under heavy shell fire. He showed rare qualities of leadership and to a great extent the success of the engagement was due to his zeal and energy.”

Return to Australia

On his return to Australia on the Norman in July 1919, Lieutenant-Colonel Annand was 47 years old.  He resumed management of the Brisbane Permanent Building and Banking Co.  After two terms as an Alderman of the Hamilton Town Council and one as Mayor in 1924, he was appointed Town Clerk of Greater Brisbane the next year.  He earned a reputation for efficient city administration.

Military Life after the war

In military life, he commanded the 15th Battalion in the Citizen Military Force and, after promotion to Colonel on 31 March 1926, the 7th Infantry Brigade, Queensland, until 1930;  for his distinguished and lengthy voluntary service he was awarded the Volunteer (Officers’) Decoration (VD);  he retired from the army on 19 May 1932. 

Church and public life

In church life, he resumed the position of Church Treasurer at City Congregational Church in 1921, a position he held till 1930. He was appointed a Life Deacon in 1938.  In 1942, in negotiations with Mr J H Hancock and Rev Percival Watson and the Commissioner for Railways, he arranged the lease of the old Wickham Terrace Church as a place of worship for the Congregationalists.  Colonel Annand led the Renovation Committee to prepare the old Gothic style building to be City Congregational Church for the next seventeen years, until 1959.

He was accustomed to command, and frustration led him to resign as Town Clerk in 1931 when the government established a municipal executive committee.  He was able to resume his position at the Building and Banking Co., from which he resigned on 26 September 1936 to 'take more active part in public affairs'.  He was immediately elected a Director of the company and later acquired several other directorships.

Community Contribution

In community life too, Colonel Annand gave public-spirited leadership. He was President of the Young Men's Christian Association in Brisbane, a life member of the United Services Club, President of the Brisbane Rotary Club, and was keen on bowls and yachting.  He became Deputy Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge.

Annand Park at Chermside is named in his honour.


Following his death on 22 June 1958 at his Ascot home, the City Congregationalists published their message of sympathy to Mrs Annand and their three sons and two daughters:    

“ To the members of the family of the late Colonel Frederick W G Annand the church expresses deep sympathy in their bereavement. They will rejoice in the knowledge that Colonel Annand made his mark for good upon many phases of life in this City and State.  Many people will remember his services with gratitude and remember him with affection.”

Select Bibliography
• National Archives of Australia, service records
• Australian History Publishing Co., Brisbane,'Queensland and Queenslanders incorporating Prominent Queenslanders', 1936, page 33.
• G. Greenwood and J. Laverty, Brisbane 1859-1959, Brisbane, 1959
• R. S. Marriott (ed), 100 Years of Progress, Toowoomba, 1960
• John Laverty, Annand, Frederick William, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, accessed on line
Brisbane Courier, 20 May 1925, 23, 26 June 1958
• Year Books, Wharf Street Congregational Church (part of Saint Andrew's Uniting Church Archive)
• Year Books and Church Notes, City Congregational Church, Brisbane,  Saint Andrew's Uniting Church Archive.
• Information -

Compiled by Noel Adsett, May 2014.  New images added by Miriam King, February 2023, Edits and additions by Miriam King 2024 © 



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