Soil from Garden Island, where a Japanese torpedo struck HMAS Kuttabul killing 21 sailors on 31 May 1942, has been collected for part of an installation by artist Fiona Hall.
The Anzac Memorial’s Hall of Service will display the names of 1700 towns, suburbs and settlements across NSW that men and women gave as their home address when enlisting in World War I.
A sample of soil, collected from each locale, will be displayed alongside each place name.
The installation in the Hall of Service:
- recognises it was not possible for the bodies of fallen soldiers to be returned for burial on home soil
- encapsulates our early colonial history
- acknowledges the country’s long time indigenous presence
- displays the geographical reach of the call to serve.
Also featured will be 100 sites of military significance to NSW service personnel, including Garden Island. The list of sites, chosen by the Anzac Memorial in consultation with the Australian Defence Force and military historians, extends from 19th Century battles through to modern Australian peacekeeping missions.
Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott said it is humbling to pay tribute to the men and women who have departed from Garden Island in warships for service overseas, or worked in the shipyards.
“The Japanese attack on Sydney Harbour brought the war home to Australians, particularly NSW,” Mr Elliott said.
“As we approach the 76th anniversary of the attack, it is important that we continue to tell the story of the officers and remember those who made the supreme sacrifice.”
The $40 million upgrade of the Anzac Memorial is jointly funded by the NSW and Australian Governments and is due to be completed in 2018.