Armadale War Memorial

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Armadale War Memorial
Armadale War Memorial.jpeg
Armadale War Memorial, the obelisk with original marble plaques with flowers and wreaths laid at the base.
Monument Details
Name Armadale War Memorial
Location Jull Street & Orchard Avenue, Armadale Memorial Park , Armadale, 6112
Dedication Date Saturday 16th December, 1916

Armadale War Memorial commemorates those from Armadale who served in World War One. In May 1959 it was moved to Memorial Park and updated to include the World War Two and Korean conflicts.[1]

History

City of Armadale war memorial, one of the earliest built in Western Australia to honour soldiers who fought in World War One. Located in what is now Memorial Park, the concept of a brick obelisk was proposed by a group of Armadale residents, businesses and community groups who formed a Roll of Honour Committee in April 1916.[2]

The people of Armadale, not content to commemorate their soldier heroes by way of the customary honour board, conceived the idea of an obelisk, to be erected in the most prominent position in their township. The site is on the high ground facing the railway station so that the memorial will command the attention alike of visitors to the district and travellers passing through by train.[3]

The decision to erect a monument before the war had officially ceased (November 1918) was reportedly due to local concerns that Armadale soldiers departing for the war prior to 1916 were not given an official send-off. The committee approached the Road Board in June 1916 for permission to build the obelisk opposite the railway station at the intersection of Fourth Road and Eleventh Avenue. The Board supported the proposal and agreed to take responsibility for the memorial once it was built. Marian Cullen, wife of Committee Secretary Herbert Dale Cullen, laid the first brick, before a brick was laid by a child from each of the five schools of the district. Mrs Cullen was presented with a “handsome” trowel as a memento of the occasion. This trowel now sits on display in the History House Museum.

It took four months to build the obelisk, constructed from brick, “burnt from the clay of our own hills” (Carter, 2011, p.160) and steps of granite hewn from the Boya quarries. It was officially unveiled on 16 December 1916 by Governor Sir Harry Barron, and the obelisk continued to serve as a source of pride for Armadale residents.

William James George MLA, who had lost his 20-year-old son in the Gallipoli campaign, was present at the unveiling and said:

The people of Armadale were beginning to think of their men not merely as so many units across the seas, but as persons belonging to them and fighting their battles.

Setting

Upgrade works to Memorial Park and the obelisk setting, 2011.
The obelisk was originally erected at the intersection of Fourth Road and Eleventh Avenue near the Armadale Railway Station footbridge. The site was a corner of land gifted by Mrs F. Saw. By the mid-1930s the RSL was suggesting the obelisk could be moved to a site at Soldiers' Memorial Park on Jull Street, however this suggestion was not acted upon, even after further pleas in 1946 and 1953.

Eventually in 1956 Road Board members resolved that the relocation was an urgent matter, requiring action before ANZAC Day that year, yet it was not until 1959 that it was finally moved to Soldiers' Memorial Park by RSL volunteers and supporters.

In October 2011 a number of upgrades were carried out to the obelisk's immediate surroundings as part of a wider revamp of Soldiers' Memorial Park. The upgrades included replacement of the low stone wall (with plaques mounted into the surface of the new wall), a circular walkway of textured concrete and paving inlaid with custom commemorative inserts, plus new wooden benches for visitors.

Notes

At least one earlier, albeit smaller, memorial had been dedicated on 20 Sep 1916 at Muradup, a small community near Kojanup.




Monument Details

Front Inscription

1914 1919
Lest We Forget
A record of The Men From Armadale and District Who Volunteered And Served In The Great War For The Liberty Of The World.
The First Brick Of This Obelisk Was Laid By Mrs H Dale Cullen 12th Aug.1916.
Unveiled By The Governor Sir Harry Barron K.C.M.G 16th Dec 1916.

West Armadale Panel

Armadale Panel

Bedfordale Panel

Beenup Panel

Those who died on service were marked with an asterisk

References

  1. "Armadale War Memorial". Monument Australia. 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2017. 
  2. Carter, Jennie; Carter, Bevan (2011). Settlement to City: A history of the Armadale district and its people. Armadale, W.A.: City of Armadale. p. 159-162. ISBN 978-0-9594944-1-9. 
  3. "ARMADALE HEROES.". The West Australian. XXXII, (4,483). Western Australia. 14 August 1916. p. 7. Retrieved 31 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.