War Memorials in Australia
War memorials honour people, not war
The Australian War Memorial, Canberra
This site contains descriptions and images of a number of war memorials in the various states and territories of Australia. Originally conceived as a database of memorials of the Canberra region, it has expanded as travels have brought the opportunity to record memorials from further afield. It is intended to keep adding to the database as circumstances allow.
Please note this is a privately operated site and is not connected in any way with the Australian War Memorial or any other organisation.
In deciding what should or should not be included as a war memorial, I have been guided by the definition used by Britain's National Inventory of War Memorials but I have extended it because Australia is unusual in commemorating those who returned as well as those who were killed. I have therefore recorded any tangible object created or installed to commemorate those killed in or as a result of military service and those who returned from war. This definition excludes the Australian-American Memorial which remembers the help given by the United States during the war in the Pacific because no reference is made to service personnel. The Netherlands Australia Memorial does however remember men and women who helped defend Australia and is therefore included. Following the British example I have not included cemeteries or individual graves such as that of General Bridges or statues of individuals such as Private Simpson or Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop. Nor have I included the memorial to Post Office workers killed in the first air raid on Darwin as they were civilians and not service personnel. The guiding lines become blurred at times.
In conducting research I have made extensive use of the collections in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra and I thank the staff of the research centre for their willing assistance. I am particularly grateful to Professor Ken Inglis for depositing his research papers in the AWM and allowing readers to have open access to them. Originally collected for The Australian National University Survey of War Memorials they are referred to as The Inglis Collection PR00944. It was from this research that Professor Inglis wrote his book Sacred Places - War Memorials in the Australian Landscape, Carlton South, Melbourne University Press, (1999) (Paperback 2005), which I have also used extensively.
A growing proportion of the material has been contributed by other persons and I thank them for their help and for their interest. I am also appreciative of the assistance of the uncounted number of people who have extended hospitality, opened buildings, given lists of names, collected information, directed me to memorials I would not otherwise have known about and provided enthusiastic support. I have enjoyed talking to numerous people who have stopped to offer assistance when they have seen me recording the memorial in their town.
No matter how much care is taken there are bound to be errors in recording details from the memorials. It is difficult to distinguish between C and G on some of the World War I monuments and in other cases flash from the camera has obscured some lettering. With thousands of names there must be some transcription mistakes on my part. I apologise for any errors and while there are some obvious misspellings on the memorials themselves I have recorded these exactly as they stand.
Wherever possible I have to tried to display photographs of the memorials in the context of their surroundings to show how they fit into the landscape, rather than close-up views. (Michael had numerous other photographs of the memorials and the names on them, but all of this material was given to the Australian War Memorial after he died.)
Copyright over some contributed material is retained by the contributor and is so stated or indicated by ©. Otherwise, the text on these pages may be freely copied for non-commercial use but not for any purpose involving payment or exchange of value or material gain. Acknowledgement and/or a link would be appreciated. All photographs are copyright © Michael Southwell-Keely unless otherwise stated.
Which should not pass away
Names that must not wither
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