District remembers fallen

Wodonga honoured the fallen at the First World War Memorial, erected by the residents of Wodonga and District and inscribed… “Erected by the residents of Wodonga and District. In memory of the men of this Town and District who fell in the Great War 1914-1919 also in grateful recognition of the services of the men who served and returned – Lest We Forget.” This Memorial sited at Woodland Grove was unveiled in November 1924. It was paid for by community fundraisers including subscription envelopes which had been mailed to every household, urging all residents to contribute.

Council minutes leading up to the November 1924 unveiling lamented the wilful damage caused by children who had trampled all over the seedlings and young plants in the flower beds. The comment was made “In the light of what has occurred to the soldiers’ memorial during erection it would appear that it will be necessary to protect same by barbed-wire entanglement.”

Early in 1955, a representative committee was formed under the presidency of Cr John Schubert to arrange for a suitable World War II Memorial.

In addition to Cr Schubert and Secretary A.G. (Bill) Richardson, the committee comprised… Messrs Alec Reid, Colonel Guinn, Arthur Collins, Reg McDermott, Ben Cook, Glen Simmonds, Bob Docking, Colonel de Latour, Major N. Murphy and Phil Scarvell.

The committee adopted a plan submitted by Melbourne architects, Messrs R.S. Demaine and Associates. This plan involved the re-erection of the First World War Memorial on a new site in Woodland Grove, the construction of a forecourt and a Wall of Remembrance. Total cost of the project being $4,048. This was raised by the Memorial Committee by public donations, radio appeals, clay bird shoots, cabaret balls, etc.

The new Memorial was unveiled on Anzac Day 1956 by Brigadier T. Simpson, OBE, who delivered the Anzac address on this special occasion.

The Wall of Remembrance, World War II Memorial stood inscribed simply… “At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.” The inscribed stone has more recently been incorporated into the edge of a raised garden bed as the wall no longer stands.