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Eighth Division, A.I.F., National Memorial, Bathurst

Location: Outside the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, William Street

City/Town:

Bathurst

State/Province:

New South Wales

Country:

Australia

Sources:

David Holmes, a student of Applied History, at Charles Sturt University - Mitchell. Updated by Nadia Cieslak 1999. Reproduced courtesy of Bathurst Visitor Information Centre.

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.

From Dedication Pamphlet:

EIGHTH DIVISION, A.I.F., NATIONAL MEMORIAL DEDICATION

BATHURST SATURDAY, 15th AUGUST, 1970

BRIGADIER SIR FREDERICK GALLEGHAN, D.S.O., O.B.E., I.S.O., E.D.
Committee President

THE IDEA

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.

WHY BATHURST?

The majority of members trained at the Bathurst Camp. "They knew Bathurst". Which other City or Town is better placed?

THE MEMORIAL

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

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.

DEDICATION

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.

(Source: 2/30 Battalion Archives)

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Last updated 28/01/2012