Newcastle First World War Memorial

Description

This Great War memorial stands outside the former Newcastle Post Office at 96 Hunter Street. According to Ken Inglis, it is believed to be Australia's first memorial of the Great War that incorporated a soldier-statue (Sacred places : war memorials in the Australian landscape / K.S. Inglis assisted by Jan Brazier. Published Carlton, Vic. : Melbourne University Press, 2001).

The foundation stone was laid by the Mayor in early April 1916 less than one year after the landing at Gallipoli and the memorial was unveiled later that year on 16 September. On the first anniversary of the Anzac landing on 25 April 1916, marchers led by men wounded at Gallipoli, saluted the incomplete pedestal on their way to church services.

The memorial's erection was sponsored by a local resident and retired Naval Officer Commander Frank Gardner VD (Volunteer Decoration) while the pedestal and setting were designed by a local architect Edward Tingle. A local stonemason Thomas Browne carved the pedestal while the marble soldier atop the memorial was carved to order by an artisan in Italy. The soldier is carved with arms reversed and head bowed. The pedestal is carved from Ravensfield sandstone from a Maitland quarry owned by Browne, with a marble Corinthian column at each corner. Marble plaques are set on the four faces of the pedestal inset with lead lettering. The main plaque with the dedication faces east and the remaining three faces contain the honour roll from the local area. When the memorial was unveiled,15 names of the dead had been inscribed. By the end of the war 73 names had been inscribed. The pedestal is unusual in that it incorporates a drinking fountain. A similar design stands at Thirroul. It is also rather ornate and as such is representative of memorials designed early in the war such as the similarly ornate early war memorial at Balmain. Later memorials from the Great War tended to be less ornate.

A later bronze plaque was fixed above the northern plaque commemorating the role of the 35th Battalion, formed in 1916 and which comprised of men drawn mostly from Newcastle and its districts.

Materials
  • Marble
  • Sandstone
Inscription

Eastern (main) plaque

Roll of Honor. This fountain was presented by Commander Frank Gardner V.D. in memory of the Officers and Men of Newcastle who gave their lives to uphold the honour of the British Empire.

Northern, Western and Southern plaques

[Names]

Later plaque

35th Infantry Battalion 'Newcastles Own' World War One battles in France and Flanders 1916-1918 Villers-Bretonneux Messines Accroche Wood Morlancourt Passchendale Bray-Sur-Somme. In memory of those who served and those who made the supreme sacrifice. Lest we forget.

Veterans listed on this memorial

Rank Given Name Family Name Conflicts Fate Service No. Service Campaign Link
Lieut H B Allen World War 1 KIA view
Pte J A Antcliffe World War 1 KIA view
Pte A Armstrong World War 1 KIA view
Pte A Banks World War 1 KIA view
Pte G Bebbington World War 1 KIA view
LCpl E Belford World War 1 KIA view
Pte W Bisson World War 1 KIA view
LCpl W J Bleazard World War 1 KIA view
Pte E P Bourke World War 1 KIA view
Cpl N S Bright World War 1 KIA view
Address
96 Hunter Street
Newcastle NSW 2300
Local Government Area
  • Newcastle, City of
Setting
  • Public square
Memorial type
  • Fountain/Drinking fountain
Recorded by
Mr Andrew Howell, Architect. Updated photographs by Peter Levarre-Waters.
Established date
1916
Established Date format: 
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Established date
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Dedication date: 
1916-09-16
Dedication date
16 September 1916
Conflict/s
  • First World War, 1914–18

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