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Western Front Memorial in Canberra?

By Thumper 28 April 2006 12

It appears that, like all developments in canberra that are not suggested by Sonic and Simon, that a call for a Western Front memorial in Canberra has not be taken up with gleeful hands.

Brendan Smyth has decided that it is a good idea, as has Bill Crews, National presidento of the RSL.

National Capital Authority spokesman Graham Scott Bohanna says memorials are expensive.

I say, well no kidding and what is the problem with that?

Apparently the NCA are baulking at a $2.5 million price tag to build one on ANZAC Parade. Given that I heard the other day that our foreign aid is to be doubled, so roughly $5 billion, I think $2.5 million will not hurt the budget.

The final say comes down to Mr Howard.

[ABC] Article here.

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Western Front Memorial in Canberra?
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Oldest to Newst 10:00 pm 16 May 11

Statuesque Jon Stanhope…

Updated May 16, 2011 17:23:00The ACT Government is considering a statue to mark Jon Stanhope’s contribution as the longest serving territory leader. (ABC News)Outgoing Chief Minister Jon Stanhope could be immortalised in bronze to mark his contributio…

Mr Evil 4:00 pm 28 Apr 06

The RAAF Memorial was upgraded because most people had no idea what the hell it was. The original sculpture still looks like a giant urinal!

I think a Western Front Memorial would be a good idea, and if they wanted to collect from the public for it, then I’d pitch in a bit. Maybe they could put it down alonside the lake (like the HMAS Canberra and Merchant Navy memorials) if people are concerned that ANZAC Pde is becoming full?

johnboy 2:03 pm 28 Apr 06

I think the bloody great Amiens gun which they captured and was outside the building last time I looked is at least it’s equal as a memorial especially when you think what it must have cost to bring that monster home in 1919.

Sure bomber command would have mostly been more physically pleasant than rela grunt-work, but have you seen their casualty rates?

God forbid I’m trying to disparage the veterans of the western front. But I don’t think any memorial in Canberra is going to overcome the shithouse social history teaching of WWI in our nations schools.

Now that I think about it, as the Amiens gun is already here why not spruce up its exhibit as a memorial to the western front veterans at the moment of their triumph?

Just a thought.

Maelinar 1:19 pm 28 Apr 06

JB, I’m sure the brave lads on the western front outnumbered the brave lads in bomber command, although possibly not in cologne reserves. My point while ill researched was more along the lines of getting the priorities correct.

johnboy 11:54 am 28 Apr 06

russians would be happy to sell us a cheapo Lenin statue.

I’ve seen the “graveyards” they have for them, statues piled on statues.

vg 11:36 am 28 Apr 06

Hedgehog and Earring Boy would much rather see a SIEV-X Memorial or a statue of Lenin on Anzac Parade instead

johnboy 11:35 am 28 Apr 06

True thumper but then they needed to upgrade that memorial to keep up with the arms race along the parade.

i thought the bomber memorial was to our brave lads in bomber command, not the london blitz (so it’s a german spotlight beam!)

in any event it’s in the gardens, not on the Parade.

Thumper 10:37 am 28 Apr 06


The RAAF Memorial was paid for by personal contributions. I know, my old man donated heaps….

In that case, maybe the Feds could go a 50/50 matching contribution.

Maelinar 10:25 am 28 Apr 06

If they can have the statuesque demonstration of what a search light looked like as a modern interpretation of the bombing of London, then they can have a statue representing Australians who served on the Western Front IMHO.

I reckon they could put it straight over the aforesaid london bombing memorial if they are concerned they are running out of space, as it’s not very relevant to Australian history when placed in comparison to deaths on the Western Front.

However, the ANZAC tradition also involves the wearing of the Poppy, which is a living memorial to the carnage on the Western Front aka Flinders Field.

The New Zealand tradition involves wearing the poppy on ANZAC day, which I took to symbolise both WW1 and WW2. I presume that is what the sprig of rosemary is meant to symbolise in Australia.

Within Australia, the wearing of the poppy is usually limited to the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month; Rememberance Day.

johnboy 10:21 am 28 Apr 06

Sure, it’s a tragedy that hardly anyone knows the AIF engaged the main body of the German army at Amiens and prevailed.

On the other hand there are some pretty hefty memorials to them out there in France.

ANyway personally i prefer the public subscription model for memorials.

If people want to pay for it then lets build it. But tapping federal funds for all one’s whims isn’t what the Libs are supposed to be about.

Thumper 9:45 am 28 Apr 06

I just think the Western Front Boys kind of miss out when it comes to the ANZAC legend.

After all, we lost many, many more there than at Gallipoli.

However, I do agree that Brendan is big on monuments and memorials. maybe he should get back to attempting to form a coherant and functioning party.

johnboy 9:41 am 28 Apr 06

I dunno, the veterans never seemed to think they lacked recognition.

Brendan’s hell-bent rush to fill every empty space down ANZAC Parade makes me endlessly angry. It was built for the ages and, sad to say, there are going to be more wars.

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