Palestine in Brisbane


29 November is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

There are some things we need to know about prominent place names in Brisbane.

The following summary has been sourced from the 1962 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica.  A quick glance at the online Encyclopaedia Britannica did not yield the references to Palestine which are available in the pre-1967 document.  Maybe they are there, but not so prominent.

I like how the old Encyclopaedia Britannica subverts our attempts to ‘keep up’ and stay ‘up-to-date’.  It reminds us, at least that we should remember 1967.


George Hamilton-Gordon was the 4th Earl of Aberdeen

Encyclopaedia Britannica (1962) mentions that he traveled in the Levant during 1802-1804, but it does not mention that later, as Foreign Secretary, he was responsible for establishing the Anglican Church in Jerusalem.

He sent the first bishop to Palestine in a British man-of-war named HMS Devastation. (see Battiscombe, ‘Shaftesbury: the Great Reformer 1801-1885’)


As British Prime Minister, he held himself responsible for the Crimean War

Later in life, the following reflection was important to The 4th Earl of Aberdeen

 David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God. But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. (1 Chronicles 22:7,8)



Charles George Gordon – Author of ‘Reflections in Palestine’ (1884)


Gordon was killed in Khartoum on 26 January, 1885


  The Kedron, as a boundary, would cut Judah out of the possession of Judah entirely, and I discover no sign of the Kedron having been used as a tribal boundary.

(from Gordon’s Reflections in Palestine)


Horatio Herbert Kitchener – Author of the Palestine Exploration Fund’s ‘Survey of Western Palestine’ (1881)

As Major General in 1896, Kitchener led the Egyptian army to end the power of the khalifa and mahdism in the Sudan.

Kitchener used the Biblical refrain ‘from Dan to Beersheba’, to indicate the completeness of his survey of Palestine.



Sir Herbert Charles Chermside, Governor of Queensland (1902-’04)

Chermside gets a mention in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  It is in relation to Kitchener and the failed attempt to rescue Gordon.

 ‘In 1884, Col. Chermside, governor of the Red Sea littoral, entered into arrangements with king John of Abyssinia, for the relief of the beleaguered Egyptian garrisons.’



Archibald Percival Wavell – Author of ‘The Palestinian Campaigns’ (1928)

 Wavell’s World War II command in the Middle East ended during the siege of Tobruk in 1941, when he was withdrawn from the Middle East and posted to the Asia Pacific.


When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, and He and His disciples entered. (John 18:1 NKJV)


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