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Australian War Memorials


aliecoco
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Hi,

Bit of a long story as to why, but I have just landed back from Perth, Australia this morning, after only having 9 days there! Managed to get to Kings Park and visited the WW1 memorial there, as well as the one in Freemantle. I noticed that, they were both situated on 'high grounds', as such. Both were in excellent locations. I only visited the two, but I was just wondering if that was the 'norm' and perhaps deliberate high ground locations were chosen? - ie overlooking Perth city as such. I really thought that both of the memorials were very fitting tributes to the WA war dead.

Alie.

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Alie.

I suspect high ground is generally favoured by anyone putting up a memorial - Bronze Age burials usually seem to be on higher ground for instance. But Australian War Memorials often seem to be on a high point or elevated (such as the 5th Division Memorial at Polygon Wood).

Neil

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G'day Alie,

I know that there is a story behind these memorials. Unfortunately, I cannot supply you with details that would be absolutely correct.

There is, however, someone who can.

Already, tonight I have been gazumped by Frev regarding another post. Now, perhaps I have beaten someone else to the punch but cannot deliver the knockout blow.

Look for a response from Andrew P.

He is the local ( ie Australian) expert on all things regarding the AIF in Western Australia.

I will send him a PM to see if he can answer your question.

Regards

Pop

(Sean McManus)

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Mount Eliza already had Kings Park prior to WW1 and if my memory serves me correctly the Boer War memorial (perhaps others) were there before WW1.

Perth does not tend (nor probably has) to have a lot of monuments scattered throughout the city. They all seem to end up at Kings Park.

Fremantle is a little different in that it has monuments scattered throughout the city and as Pop has said ... AndrewP will no doubt answer this too.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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Alie,

I to will jump in before either Frev or Andrew P respond.

The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne was deliberately built on the hill, south of the Yarra River, looking back and down to the City of Melbourne along the the main thoroughfare, St. Kilda Road. In fact St. kilda Road leads directly towards the Shrine, only deviating in its path by going around the hill before continuing straight on towards St. Kilda.

This was the highest ground south of the city and built up higher during the construction.

The aim was, and still is, that the Shrine could be seen from the City, and before the growth of tall buildings built along the west side of St. Kilda Road, none of which are allowed to overshadow the Shrine by law, it could be seen from the heads at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. During the 1930's and 40's, the Shrine was the first sight ships had of the city as they came up the Bay.

As Ken Inglis, in his book "Sacred Places" notes; "Every visitor, everybody who passed along the grand boulevard of St. Kilda Road, was addressed by a solemn command.

LET ALL MEN KNOW THAT THIS IS HOLY GROUND

THIS SHRINE ESTABLISHED IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AS ON THE SOLID EARTH

COMMEMORATES A PEOPLE'S FORTITUDE AND SCRIFICE

YE THAT COME AFTER GIVE REMEMBRANCE

It is an awe inspiring sight, solemn and impressive in its Ancient Greek inspired architecture.

All over Australia, from the major cities to the smallest rural town, you find a War Memorial of some sort, be it a statue, arch, a community or civic hall, or park. All will be within, or at the entrance to, of the towns precinct on the main road.

Jeff

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Hi Alie

In regards to Fremantle, the Memorial was placed on Monument Hill as this was the highest point in the area and subsequently the last piece of Australian mainland that the troops leaving from the port of Fremantle saw before they embarked overseas.

Many families had used this hill for picnics and such pre war and there are stories of families going to the hill to look at the ships leaving or coming back into port.

Cheers

Andrew

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Hi,

Sorry not to reply sooner, straight back into work and the M25 commute with work! But thank you all so much for your responses, very interesting. I liked the Freemantle story, and yes I believe Kings Park was there before WW1, in fact I think it may be the largest park for a city, in the world?? There are loads of cranes and building going on in Perth, but yet the memorial at Kings Park will still overlook, I think. I took the ferry many times, from the city to the south, and the memorial still can be seen.

As Neil says, of course I suppose any memorial should perhaps be on higher ground, but I did find the Perth and the Freemantle memorials to be particularly on high ground, and situations that could be seen from different aspects of where 'one' could be in those places.

Hope this makes sense!! Still jet lagged and am rather tired from work today...

Thanks again, I had a great time in Western Australia, and really would like to visit again.

Alie.

Just a quick edit to say thanks to Sean and to Jeff with the Melbourne story, do you think that was similar to Perth?

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All ships left Fremantle or Albany. The Albany Desert Mounted Corps memorial is atop of Mt Clarence as it was the last glimpse of Australia that many of the boys had including those from over east.

The town memorial with all the War dead names listed is on flat country in the main street.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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Sandra,,

To qualify the use of the Ports of Albany and Fremantle further, didn't ships from the East coast which were not picking up further troops or supplies (ie: were bunkering coal and watering) leave from Albany, whilst those loading troops and supplies (obviously) left Fremantle.

Cheers,

Hendo

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In our small country town we have a memorial outside the library,where ANZAC Day is commemorated,a wall of names in the hospital foyer and given a peculiarity of tax legislation,at the time,making donations to war memorials tax deductable,a memorial airport and town swimming pool.Locally we also have memorial gates to at least one sports ground.

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Alie

I'm not sure there is a conscious patten of erecting memorials on high ground I think it had more to do with where there was available land close to the city. Certainly Perth, Melbourne and Hobart have theirs on high ground, and I agree Perth's is one of the best located Memorials I know of. However in each case these were erected in existing parkland and as someone noted in Perth's case there was already a Boer War memorial there. On the other hand Sydney and Adelaide and Darwin have theirs on flat park land at the edge of the city. Brisbane is a bit of a hybrid being on the built on the up hill side of a square in the city centre. Outside the main cities some towns such as Goulburn as well as Albany and Fremantle certainly have their memorials on hills. However most towns tend to have them in a park or street close to the centre. As I said I suspect it has more to do with available land then anything else.

Did you see the roads in Kings Park lined with trees each one listing a man killed and the details of his unit and date of death? I always make a point of going for a walk there when Im in the west.

Tim B

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Alie

I'm not sure there is a conscious patten of erecting memorials on high ground I think it had more to do with where there was available land close to the city. Certainly Perth, Melbourne and Hobart have theirs on high ground, and I agree Perth's is one of the best located Memorials I know of. However in each case these were erected in existing parkland and as someone noted in Perth's case there was already a Boer War memorial there. On the other hand Sydney and Adelaide and Darwin have theirs on flat park land at the edge of the city. Brisbane is a bit of a hybrid being on the built on the up hill side of a square in the city centre. Outside the main cities some towns such as Goulburn as well as Albany and Fremantle certainly have their memorials on hills. However most towns tend to have them in a park or street close to the centre. As I said I suspect it has more to do with available land then anything else.

Did you see the roads in Kings Park lined with trees each one listing a man killed and the details of his unit and date of death? I always make a point of going for a walk there when Im in the west.

Tim B

Hi Tim,

Thank you so much for your post, for some reason you have completely chilled me... yes of course land, I hadn't thought of it quite like that before, and I didn't see the Boer memorial, damm!

I did see the Kings Park lined with trees, but I must of walked on the opposite side to you! All the plaques I saw, were to men working for the council and that in 1929, 'planted this tree'.... it may take a while (though I hope not too many years), before I walk on the other side.....

Alie.

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Alie,

Golbourn is similar to Perth. They have a large stone tower erected on the hill overlooking the town with the honour board placed inside the tower. In the town itself there is a park in the central area where a handsome Boer War Memorial is situated. Another memorial has also been erected in the park for local men who served in the Second World War.

Golbourn had a large training camp in the First world War and I have been told a hospital as well.

Scott.

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Wow Myrtle!!!! That picture is stunning! I am so pleased that you, and others have agreed that it is indeed in a stunning location. Particularly at dusk, as your picture portrays. Would you mind emailing it to me? I would like to download it onto my computer, or maybe even get it framed up! I really like it, much better than any postcards I have of the memorial. (I did send one to Cynthia too!)

Alie.

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Hi Alie

I'm glad you like the photo. I took it on my old camera so it's not great quality but if you would like a copy pm me your email address so I can send it to you.

Myrtle

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