Eighth Division, A.I.F., National Memorial, Bathurst
Outside the Bathurst Memorial
Entertainment Centre, William Street
New South Wales
David Holmes, a student of Applied
History, at Charles Sturt University - Mitchell. Updated by Nadia
Cieslak 1999. Reproduced courtesy of Bathurst Visitor Information
Dedication pamphlet, Makan No. 190, June/July, 1970.
15 August 1945 marked the end of
the Pacific War and it was also the day on which the prisoners of war,
including those from the 8th Division, gained their freedom. The
memorial was unveiled by Brig Sir Frederick ('Black Jack') Galleghan DSO
OBE senior surviving officer of the Division. The ceremony took place 30
years after the formation of the Division. It was decided to erect the
memorial at Bathurst because most members of the 8th Division trained at
the former Army Camp on Limekilns Road. More than 1,000 turned out for
the unveiling. The dedication ceremony was performed by three army
chaplains who were attached to the Division.
The memorial resembles a warrior's
blade which has been stamped with the armourer's mark, 'the 8 and the
cross'. The blade with its missing point symbolises the Division. The
broken blade leaves '8' partly defaced but identifiable, for the
Division was not broken. The sword and the cross suggest that the 8th
Division fought for a Christian civilisation and believed their fight
was a just one.
The red granite for the monument
was extracted from Tarana and was installed in May 1970. The memorial
was designed by Dr J H Flak, who served with the 7th Division in the
Middle East and in New Guinea.
A.I.F., NATIONAL MEMORIAL DEDICATION
15th AUGUST, 1970
FREDERICK GALLEGHAN, D.S.O., O.B.E., I.S.O., E.D.
The proposal for a
National 8th Division Memorial came from a group of former members of
the Division living in Bathurst and District, which referred the
suggestion to Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan, who placed the
proposition before a meeting of 8th Division Council and Unit
Associations where it received unanimous approval. The Bathurst group
was requested to set up a committee and formulate plans. These were
approved by the committee at Sydney of which Sir Frederick is President.
The majority of
members trained at the Bathurst Camp. "They knew Bathurst". Which other
City or Town is better placed?
The design chosen is
the work of Dr. J. H. E. Flak, B.A., Ph.D., M.Ed., Dip. Art., E.M.,
Mitchell College of Advanced Education, Bathurst.
A broken column of
red polished granite, of unusual shape and many planes, standing about 7
feet high, symbolic of the Division and its history; with a bronze
plaque. To be erected just off the street footpath on the concrete
concourse entrance to the City Hall; a position suggested by the
Bathurst City Council as being worthy of such a monument.
The cost of the
Memorial and erection to be met entirely by donations - $2 and over
being taxation deductible from members of the Division and A.I.F.
Malaya. Any amount donated surplus to requirements to be donated to
Legacy. A separate cheque would assist bookkeeping requirements.
All servicemen and
service women of the 8th Australian Division and A.I.F. Malaya,
including husbands, wives, widows and relatives were invited to attend
the UNVEILING and DEDICATION of the Memorial which took place at
Bathurst, Saturday, 15th August, 1970, preceded at 3 p.m. by a short
march and the laying of a wreath at the Bathurst Way Memorial.
August 15th, 1970
was the twenty fifth anniversary of the termination of the war against
the Japanese, and the thirtieth anniversary of the formation of the
Division. A REUNION including ladies, assembly 6.30 p.m., August 15th
Buffet Dinner, including refreshments - was arranged at the Bathurst
R.S.L. Club, Rankin Street.