‘Erected to the Glory of God and the honour of brave men by a grateful people.
Great War 1914 – 1918′
It is fitting that I should add this review to my blog on Remembrance Day, 11 November 2017.
The Gundagai War Memorial was originally erected to commemorate those who served in WWI but like many such memorials it is now also used to commemorate those who have served in various later conflicts – specifically WWII and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
The Memorial carries the names of 1,133 men and women from the town and surrounding district who served in the conflicts commemorated. Of these, 486 were enlisted in WWI and of these 79 paid the ultimate sacrifice – a remarkable contribution for a town with a population just 1,921 in 1911.
This imposing 32 tonnes grey and red granite and concrete obelisk with names engraved in gold is located at the eastern end of Sheridan Street, a short distance from the Railway Station. It was designed and built by renowned local stonemason and sculptor, Frank Rusconi, more famous for his Marble Masterpiece and the Dog on the Tuckerbox on which I have written separate reviews.
The foundation stone for the memorial was laid by Major-General Charles Cox on the 24th May 1928 and the finished memorial was dedicated on Saturday 10th November, 1928, ten years after the end of WWI.
Cox, nicknamed ‘fighting Charlie’ led the first Australian colonial volunteers to land in South Africa during in the Boer War and commanded the 1st Light Horse Brigade in the Middle East during WWI.
The War Memorial, without wanting to belittle its significance, serves as a roundabout/traffic island at the intersection of Sheridan Street, Prince Alfred Drive, Virgil Street and Rusconi Place. Rusconi Place was so named in recognition of the work of Frank Rusconi (pictured) and a small plaque to this effect, unveiled by the Hon KG Booth, Minister for Tourism, in October 1979, can be seen on the grass area to the rear (approaching from Sheridan Street) of the Memorial.
Address: Rusconi Place