New Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner London dedicated by Her Majesty the Queen, and Australian Prime Minister on Tuesday the 11th. of November 2003.
It was dedicated by HM. the Queen and Australin Prime Minister John Howard in a service on the 11th. of November 2003, built to honour the 1.5 million Australian service men and women who fought in two world wars alongside their British comrades. It also remembers the 101,000 service people who died in those two conflicts.
Crafted from 200 tonnes of green Western Australian granite, at a cost of A$ 9 million, it gently rises up from the ground in a semi circle, no higher than four meters. There are 24,000 place names on this stunning memorial, a living record of where all Australians who served had enlisted from, they include names from Britain, and other countries around the world, eg Italy is there, my own suburb of Coburg W.( for West ) is featured, it is where I lived when I joined the Royal Australian Naval College in 1936.
Rosanna, where I lived post war for 47 years is there, because some people lived there when they enlisted.
Superimposed on these 24,000 place names are 47 battle sites, where Australians fought in both wars, eg, sacred names like Gallipoli, Lone Pine, are listed, as are names such as Borneo, Lingayen Gulf, and Savo Island ( where I was sunk in HMAS Canberra ) places where I was present in ships of the RAN. These names will be scanned over all the years to come, as veterans seek out their specific place name from whence they enlisted, then the scenes of battles where they fought. As we all die off, our children in the times ahead, when visiting London will make a point of going to Hyde Park Corner, they will then undertake a similar exercise.
Queen and John Howard unveil plaque at Australian War Memorial London. 11th. November 2003.
Selecting Veterans to attend this dedication ceremony.
Two from the 7 Navy personnel chosen were from my state of Victoria, unfortunately, I was not one of those 2, perhaps the fact I have diabetes may have precluded my selection, anyway, it was not to be. I trust all who gone off to London to represent those who have served both Australia, and the cause of freedom over two world conflicts, have a wonderful visit.
The designer of this magnificent War memorial in London.
Janet Laurence, Sydney based installation artist