Bushwalker's War Memorial at Splendour Rock

Bushwalker's War Memorial at Splendour Rock - plaque 1 - WW2 - Keith MaxwellBushwalker's War Memorial at Splendour Rock - "The Bushwalker" 1946 article "We will remember them"Bushwalker's War Memorial at Splendour Rock - Memorial Dedication, 1948Bushwalker's War Memorial at Splendour Rock - Federation of Bushwalking Clubs, affiliated clubs - 1946Bushwalker's War Memorial at Splendour Rock - Topographic view of locationBushwalker's War Memorial at Splendour Rock - plaque 2 - MatesBushwalker's War Memorial at Splendour Rock - plaque 2 - Mates - on rockfaceBushwalker's War Memorial at Splendour Rock - plaque 2 - Mates - mountain backdrop
Description

Two simple plaques at spectacular lookout.

Access by foot only - half day or more from nearest carpark. 

Plaque 1 - Bushwalkers who fell in World War II

"A decision was made in 1947 to erect a bushwalkers' war memorial, and is recorded thus in the The Bushwalker magazine of December, 1947:

Plans for the memorial to bush walkers who gave their lives in World War Two have been accepted by Federation and a Committee consisting of the President, Tom Moppett and Brian Harvey (both of S.B.W.), has been entrusted with their completion.

The proposal to choose and name a suitable peak in the Gangerang Region has had to be abandoned as all peaks worthy of such high dedication already carry a familiar name. The alternative accepted is to affix a brass plate with bold, raised lettering, to Splendour Rock, that magnificent view-point at the Southern end of Mount Dingo. Here, where the eye is drawn to the glory of Kanangra Walls, surely the spiritual home of bush walkers, is a spot beloved of many of those whom we seek to honour.

The plan was carried out & at sunrise, on Anzac Day, 1948, the simple bronze plaque commemorating the memory of Bushwalkers who fell in World War II was unveiled at Splendour Rock, Mount Dingo, in the heart of the Wild Dog Mountains by Paddy Pallin in the presence of the President Stanley Cottier and between 80-90 Bushwalkers. "Those familiar landmarks - Mt Cloudmaker, the Gangerang Range, Mt Paralyser and Mt Gouougang - a spiritual home of the Bushwalkers - all lie within our gaze from this wonderful viewpoint. We could wonder how often had our fallen comrades gazed in happiness upon this scene that we still enjoy?

Upon this rock, as sunrise lit the cliffs they loved so well, was placed a permanent record that we honoured those known & unknown Bushwalkers, who gave their lives for our freedom. And, their splendour shall never fade!

Bushwalkers known to have fallen in World War II:

BRUCE ELDER Coast & Mountain Walkers R.A.N.
KENNETH GRENFELL Rucksack Club R.A.A.F .
REG. HEWITT Sydney Bush Walkers A.I.F .
GEORGE LODER Trampers Club R.A.A.F .
JAMES McCORMACK Y.M.C.A. Ramblers R.A.A.F.
GORDON MANNELL Sydney Bush Walkers R.A.A.F .
MAC NICHOLS Y.M.C.A. Ramblers A.I.F.
ARNOLD RAY Coast & Mountain Walkers R.A.A.F.
CHARLES ROBERTS Coast & Mountain Walkers A.I.F.
NORMAN SAILL Sydney Bush Walkers R.A.A.F.
GORDON SMITH Sydney Bush Walkers A.I.F.
GORDON TOWNSEND Coast &. Mountain Walkers R.A. A. F .
JACK WALL Campfire Club R.A.A.F .

LEST WE FORGET !!

Each Anzac Day at dawn, a commemoration is conducted at Splendour Rock. 

Taken from Bushwalking NSW website here.

Plaque 2 - MATES - 2 / 17th Battalion AIF 1939 - 45 

Nearby to the Splendour Rock bushwalkers war memorial is a very personal memorial from World War II. Probably around 1953 – 56 a plaque was installed on a vertical wall to the 2 / 17th Battalion AIF 1939 - 45 “MATES” by Gordon Broome, a member of Sydney Bush Walkers.

The location is not obvious. Persons wishing to view this plaque must scramble over an awkward boulder and then view upwards. The plaque is higher than normal eye height. Since the plaque faces south a reasonable guess is that it has been positioned to follow the sun as per the ANZAC Day ODE – “At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them. Lest we forget”.

Gordon (“Broomie”) is mentioned many times in a history of ‘B Company’ 2 / 17th Battalion in actions from North Africa / Tobruk to New Guinea where he was wounded. Post WWII Gordon was active for many years in the 2 / 17th Battalion Association.

2 / 17th Battalion Association

The 2 / 17th Battalion was disbanded on 8 February 1946 at Ingleburn camp. Around 30 only veterans from active service are still alive. The Association is carried on by soldiers who enlisted before this disbanding.

Each year on the Sunday before ANZAC Day a special service of remembrance is held in St Thomas Anglican Church, North Sydney. In this church there are significant icons to the 17th Battalion, from WWI, and the 2 / 17th Battalion.

In 1953 Gordon was part of a Sub Committee to install an extra plaque in this church close to the “Pozieres Cross”.

Delays in the process meant that this church plaque was not unveiled until 1956. This timing would suggest that the “MATES” plaque may have been installed around this time.

Colour patches on “MATES” plaque

The 2 / 17th is allowed a special honour reserved for Battalions in the Second AIF that were part of the siege of Tobruk in 1942; hence the “T” shape on the MATES plaque.

The following additional information was offered by a member of the 2 / 17th Battalion Association.

The diamond shape to the right, of the Tobruk “T”, is the ‘colour patch’ of the 17th Battalion of WWI.

The left hand diamond shape is the ‘colour patch’ on embarkation of the 2 / 17th Battalion to the war in North Africa.

Among the many items at St Thomas Church that remember the 17th and 2 / 17th Battalion are battle honour flags in a side nave.

(See attachment below.)

Inscription

Plaque 1

In memory of

Bushwalkers

who fell

in World War II

Their splendour shall never fade

Plaque 2

MATES

2/17 AUST. INF. BN. A.I.F

1939-45

Address
Splendour Rock, Blue Mountains National Park
Blue Mountains National Park, Wild Dog Mountains NSW 2787
Recorded by
Keith Maxwell. President. Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad.
Established date
February 1948
Dedication date
ANZAC Day 1948
Conflict/s
World War 2

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