As she approached the newly unveiled bronze statues of Australian diggers on Canberra's Anzac Parade, Diane Melloy was moved to tears.
"That's my pop," Ms Melloy said. Sculptor Louis Laumen's work had conjured up memories of Ms Melloy's late grandfather, Boer War veteran Corporal Joseph Lock of the 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.
In tears, Ms Melloy and her mother, Mr Lock's daughter Valma Hunter remembered him as a quiet, wiry bushman from Charleville, Queensland with a love for the Australian outback
"He taught me the love of family, the bush, the outback [...] all these basically beautiful things," Ms Melloy said.
On Wednesday, the National Boer War Memorial opened to a crowd of 1000 with military honours and four larger-than-life bronze Australian light horsemen depicted traversing the South African veld.
Nearly 1000 Australians died in the war, more than in Korea (339 killed) and more than in Vietnam (521). None of the 43,000 horses returned.
It was Australia's first war as a nation, having started before federation in 1899, but is mired in controversy because of the scorched-earth tactics of the British command.
Imperial forces, including Australian troops, burned the farms of their Boer enemies – leaving them nothing to return to – and rounded up women and children into concentration camps where tens of thousands died of disease.
Ms Melloy and Ms Hunter had no illusions about these aspects of the war. Ms Hunter said Mr Lock understood and empathised with the Boer guerilla.
"He would have had an affinity. He respected the Boers so much," Ms Hunter said, adding Mr Lock was been sad and understanding of the Boers' pain of losing the bush and their horses.
"The British wanted the gold that was inside [the Boer republics]. He went as a loyal Australian," Ms Melloy said.
"He was such a wonderful, patient man," Ms Hunter said.
Before he laid a wreath, Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove said the Australian men and women who died in the Boer War defined the nation on the African veld.
"They became the first to serve our nation. This war is sometimes called Australia's forgotten war. That is not the case today, " Sir Peter said.
"They were the fathers of the Anzacs."
National Boer War Memorial Association president Colonel John Haynes had worked for 20 years to have the memorial built.
"We were surprised by the number of guests," Colonel Haynes said.
He said the statues served as an important link to Australia's past.
Wayne and Terese Binns were dressed in recreational outfits for the ceremony, Mr Binns in British imperial khakis and Ms Binns in a replica of the imperial nurses' outfits.
"It's a form of remembrance of the effort we put in," Ms Binns said.
"[It's] the first war Australia fought in and is the last memorial to go in Anzac Parade."