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Royal Botanic Gardens Memorial, Mrs. Macquarie's Drive, Woolloomooloo

Where is it?

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

2/30 Battalion Memorial, overlooking Woolloomooloo Bay, on Mrs. Macquarie’s Drive.

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Introduction

History

Tree Planting Ceremony, 7th October, 1995

This memorial was erected by the 2/30th Bn A.I.F. Association as a tribute to the men of the battalion who sailed from the Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo Bay on the Dutch vessel, Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt, on 29th July 1941 for active service in the Singapore - Malayan campaign. It is also a tribute to the memory of those men of the Battalion, who did not survive to make the return journey to the same wharf in October 1945.

Of the more than 1300 men who passed through the 2/30 Battalion, 739 were recovered after the end of the war in the Pacific on the 15th of August 1945. Most of those who were then in Changi, returned to Australia on the Esperance Bay, arriving at the wharf opposite the memorial on the 9th October 1945.

The memorial in the gardens is constructed from a large granite stone from the hills behind Tamworth where the 2/30 Battalion was originally formed in November 1940. The bronze plaque has the message:

They sailed from here
Survivors returned here
We remember those who did not come home

The Rusty Fig (ficus destruens), planted behind the stone, is a symbol of continuing growth and preservation of the spirit of the Battalion. The memorial was dedicated at a ceremony held on the 7th October 1995, and was unveiled by the then Lt. Governor of N.S.W., His Excellency, The Honourable A.M. Gleeson A.C. Each year in October, members and guests of the 2/30 Battalion Association gather at this site for a commemorative service in memory of their Comrades in Arms.

(Source: 2/30 Battalion Archives)

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Last updated 01/10/2012