Back on Track

Now that we’ve finally settled in Bendigo, I have been able to start investigating and recording some of the war memorials in the region. One thing that is apparent is the different forms of memorial that are present, many of which are quite different to the memorials that I have encountered in South Australia. Not only are the designs different, but nearly every town in the region, which is rural with a few major centres, has its own Avenue of Honour; a tree-lined street within or on the main road into the town. While there are some in South Australia, they do not appear to be nearly as common as in this part of Victoria. Definitely something that will form part of my investigation.

Woodend

An unusual clock-tower erected in 1927 to commemorate those who served in World War 1. It has since been updated with plaques recognize those who served in later conflicts. At this stage I am unsure of the purpose of the balconies but am looking forward to finding out.

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Mount Macedon Memorial Cross

Identified in local guides as second only to the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, this impressive memorial stands 1000m above sea level near the summit of Mount Macedon. The original cross was commissioned by a local businessman, William Cameron, at a cost of £10,000 and was completed in 1935. In its original form it consisted of earthenware tiles over a steel framework. After surviving lightning strikes and major bush fires the cross was deemed unsafe and was demolished in 1994. It was replaced by a reinforced concrete and tile structure that has the same dimensions and outward appearance.

Plaques honouring those who served in later conflicts have been erected in an a garden area at the entrance to the Memorial Reserve.

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 Creswick

While undertaking some fieldwork near Creswick I spotted this memorial, a column surmounted with a globe. What struck me as interesting is that I had driven past one of similar design in a nearby town while driving to Creswick. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to investigate further on this occasion. However, you can be sure I will be returning to research these monuments in more depth as my research progresses.

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White Hills

Located at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens at White Hills, north of Bendigo, this memorial is unusual in that it is titled the “Arch of Triumph”. The sentiments normally found on war memorials are usually honouring those who served, the celebration of victory implied my the title of the memorial is unusual, one again another story to be investigated.

A close examination of the photo below shows that this memorial is in a somewhat dilapidated condition. Large cracks can be seen above the right hand gateway along with large metal tie rods across the whole face of the structure.

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So these are just the tip of the iceberg. The aim of my research is not just in recording memorials but identifying their relationships with other features of the landscape and looking at how they have changed over time.  There’s plenty to keep me busy for some time!

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