David W. Bonar

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David Welbourn Bonar was born at Herbertson, Queensland on 05 July 1887. His mother was Alice Hannah Bonar.[1]

David Bonar was an Associate of the Ballarat School of Mines, studying Maths, Mine Management and Drawing between 1905 and 1909.[2] Before World War One Bonar was Manager of the Great Northern Tin Mine, Queensland.[3]

In 1909 the Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine recorded:

Past Students - David W. Bonar
We are pleased to record that Bonar has just left us, with his Mine Manager's Certificate and the Diploma in Mine Engineering, under engagement to A Gerberton (Q) tin mining company.[4]

Military Experience

Bonar held a commission in the Australian Mining Corps. [5] He enlisted on 27 April 1916 aged 29 years. At that time he as a single mining engineer. 2nd Lieutenant Bonar was commissioned on 15 October 1916. ON his application for a Commission in the A.I.F. Bonar states he attended the Ballarat School of Mines for five years during which he obtained a Mining Engineers Diploma and a Mine Managers Certificate. and left Australia on the HMAT Ulysses on 25 October 1916. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 13 August 1917, and joined the 1st Tunnelling Company from the Tunnelling reinforcements on 09 January 1918.[6]

David Bonar returned to Australia on the Wiltshire, embarking on 04 July 1919.[7]

Brussels in December was the meeting place of a conference of experts on public works, town planning, and civil engineering. North Queenslanders have a personal interest in it "for the man who represented Australia was born and brought up in North Queensland and is well known to many here.
He ls Mr. David W. Bonar, city surveyor and engineer to the city of Brunswick (one of the large cities incorporated in Melbourne)
Mr. Bonar is the eldest son of Mrs. A. H. Bonar, of Kairi, and of the late Mr. W. M. Bonar, of Herberton.
Early in October Mrs. Bonar received word that her son had been selected to represent Australia at the Brussels Conference and had been warned to he ready to leave at any moment. The Mayor and Councillors of Brunswick gave a public dinner in his honour and eventually he left Sydney on November 9 by the A.N.A. Flying-boat Hythe. Tea in Bowen was followed by breakfast in Darwin, and on November 17 Mr. Bonar landed in Poole and thence travelled 120 miles by train to London. Approximately five days were allowed for consultation and preparation in England, and then on November 25 the conference opened in Brussels.
Mr. Bonar was a pupil of Herberton State School under Mr. Blakey and Mr. Fifoot. Later he went to Maryborough Grammar School, and from there to Ballarat School of Mines. Having gained his mining certificates, he went first to a responsible mining position in Tasmania and later returned to the mining field in North Queensland. He served with the Australian Expeditionary Services in the Pioneer Corps during World War I, rising from private to lieutenant and being retained after the conclusion of hostilities for "cleaning up" purposes. He brought back with him a Military Cross. On his return to Victoria he married Miss R. McTaggart, of Ballarat, and with his bride came back to the North. Finding too little scope in mining here at that time he returned to Melbourne, obtained the subordinate position of assistant to the Brunswick City Engineer and. took up the study of civil engineering at the Workingman's College. After gaining all his certificates in civil engineering he "was appointed engineer to Collingwood city, and a short time later returned to Brunswick as chief engineer.[8]

Medals and Awards

2nd Lieutenant David M. Bonar was awarded the Military Cross. It was published in the London Gazette on 08 March 1919, and the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 17 June 1919. The Military Cross was awarded in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the field.[9].

On the 29th September, 1918, at Bony, he was in chrage of a forward road party which was under heavy enemy shell fire and michine gune fire. The infantry advance having been checked, the party became involved in teh fighting.Although heavy casualities were occurring, he, by his constant patrol of the road, inspired his party to carry through the road in order to assist the subsequent operations by the infantry.<Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 10, 29 January 1920.</ref>

See also

Australian Mining Corps

1st Tunnelling Company

Awards & Honors


  1. NAA; B2455 Bonar D W
  2. Ballarat School of Mines Enrolment Database, Federation University Historical Collection.
  3. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, 1916.
  4. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, First Term 1909, p18.
  5. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, 1916.
  6. NAA; B2455 Bonar D W
  7. NAA; B2455 Bonar D W
  8. Cairns Post, 11 January 1947.
  9. NAA; B2455 Bonar D W

Other links


--Cgervasoni (talk) 17:28, 1 September 2014 (EST)

Can you assist this project by supplying photos or more information on David Bonar? We are looking for copies of photographs and memorabilia relating to tunnellers from the Ballarat Electorate. If you can help, please drop us a line: miningmudandmedals@gmail.com