Monday, April 24, 2006

Memorial Park

Trotted into Woy Woy for some stuff this morning and nipped into Memorial Park with my camera. The sun was in and out like a fiddler's elbow but I wanted to get some close-ups in the park in time for Anzac Day tomorrow.

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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Woy Woy Memorial Park seen from Brick Wharf Road. Pelican Island in the middle distance, Saratoga and Davistown in the background.

On the fence beside the gate there's a wee plaque saying: "Wall completed 1974 RSL Sub Branch Memorial Club Gosford Shire Council". RSL means Returned Services League.

The sign says: "Gosford City Council Woy Woy Memorial Park A Place of Remembrance". In front of the sign is the Australian flag in coloured stones.

Note the rosemary bush growing in front of the sign. Rosemary is for remembrance. Many people wear a sprig of it on Anzac day and those with large bushes of it in their garden often cut sprigs to hand out to strangers in the streets.

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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The left plaque I can't read at any magnification. I'll have to go back for the wording. UPDATE, 26-4-06: Wording is: "Decidated as a soldier's memorial park by His Excellency Sir Philip Game GBE, KCB, DSO Governor of New South Wales 19th October 1932".

The right plaque reads: "Dedicated to the memory of John Joseph (Jack) Ryan 15th January, 1895 [?] - 2nd November, 1982 Their bodies are buried in peace but their names liveth for evermore! ANZAC Day 25th April, 1998".

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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The main memorial in the park.

As you can see in this photo, the park is on the waterfront. That's Pelican Island across the water and Saratoga & Davistown in the background.

Hopefully the rain clouds will be gone by dawn tomorrow and it will be dry for the dawn service.

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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At the top there's a silhouette of the ship. The words read: "Presented to Gosford City Council and the people of the Hawkesbury River area by the ship's company of H.M.A.S. Hawkesbury (K363) on the 50th anniversary of the frigate as a token of regard and in appreciation of the wartime and ongoing relationship with the Royal Australian Navy presented by Commander H.J. Weston, DSC, RD, (Retd) Legion of Merit (USA) (To Hawkesbury for meritorious service within the US Seventh Fleet) Commander Officer H.M.A.S. Hawkesbury 1944-45 to Councillor D.B. O'Connor Mayor on behalf of the City of Gosford".

HMAS stands for Her Majesty's Australian Ship. (Retd) means retired from the service.

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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At the top it says "A.D. 1925" on either side of what looks like the rising sun motif from the Australian Army with a crown (for England) on it.

The plaque reads: "To our boys Who have stood in the forefront of the battle with the Elite of the world's heroes, fighting for Liberty, home & Empire: This Monument is gratefully dedicated by the citizens of Woy Woy."

The carving under the plaque is a wreath.

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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West side of the main memorial. Pelican Island in the background. The wall behind the memorial is covered in memorial plaques for individual services personnel.

The carving at the top reads: "War declared 4th August 1914".

The main plaque reads: "Lest We Forget 1914 [wreath] 1918 [C]ox M.O. Cox E.R. Fountain R.C. Geraghty W. Murphy A.A. Ormiston H. Peel H. Roberts R.C. Roberts J.H. Stuart F. Tonkins L.C. Tonkins R.C. Taylor J.O. Weaver C. 1939 - 1945 Bassan T.W. RAAF Biggs R. AIF Butler A.F. AIF Cheyne C.J. RAAF Crews H.W. AIF Fitzell C. AIF Humphries W. AIF Jones D.H. AIF Morante E. AIF Mulligan R.P. AIF Murphy M. AIF Neal D.O. RAN Parks Les AIF Parks J.R. AAF Peters K.A. AIF Reeves G. RAN Riding E.H. RAAF Skene A.J. AIF Snellgrove F.N. AIF Steinbeck W.J. AIF Van Gelder F. AIF Webb B. AIF Webb W. AIF Williams R.S. RAAF".

The AIF was the Australian Imperial Force in WWI and WWII. RAAF is the Royal Australian Air Force. RAN is the Royal Australian Navy. I suspect the AAF is a typo for AIF.

The small plaque reading: "Korea" was presumably put up after the Korean war in 1950-53.

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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South side of the main memorial. The low wall behind the memorial is covered in plaques for individual services personnel. Behind the wall is the baths (a fenced off section of the channel), the fish&chip shop where they feed the pelicans (right, green) and shops (left, yellow) then Parks Bay (right) andWoy Woy Bay (left) in the background.

The carving at the top of the memorial reads: "Armistice signed 11th November 1918".

The main plaque reads: "Honor Roll Alderton C. Adams C.W. Adams D. Browne W.J Brown C.A. Bourke M. Bartlett H. Costello W.R. Cox E.R. "D" Cox M.O. "D" Cooper W. Davis W. Davis P. Davis O. Davis H. Driscoll F.W. Daley C. Endicott E. Easterbrook C. Ford S.R. Forfar C. Flynn L. Fegan W. Fountain C.R. "K" Clover R. Garrett L. Gridland W. Geraghty W "D" Hagan A.H. Hagan H.B. Hutchinson A.S. Holt R. "M.M." Hughes A.P. Hawker C.W. Jones C.J. Jacobsen S. Jacobsen W. Jacobsen E.C. Jenkins C.W. "D" Keogh M."

I don't know what the "D", "K" and "M.M." mean. Some sort of regimental thingy perhaps.

The bottom plaque reads: "Malaysia" and was a WWII hotspot I think.

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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The carving at the top of the memorial reads: "Peace signed 19th July 1919".

The main plaque reads: "Carey W.T. "D" Kirby W. Kirby E. Lukene C.M. Lawrence C.P. Loydstrom C. Larsen C. Martin A.A. Murphy A.A. "D" McFadden F.A. "M.M." Ormiston H. "K" Preston E.C. Piper J. Peel H. "K" Roberts Jim Rand F. Ransley [] Richards O. Settree W. Stuart W. Stuart F. "K" Bayliss E.O.D. Peak E.J. "D" Smith C. Seymour F. Stapleton A.E. Singleton Jas Singleton C. Singleton R. Singleton J. Taylor J.O. "D" Tonkin L.C. "D" Tonkin R.C. "D" Vidler R. Viret J.C. Vokes B. White E. White C. Warmoll R. Warmoll F. Wallwork [] Watts C.J. Wheatley D.F. Woolford H. Weaver C. "D" B[l]ackwall J. "D"".

The bottom plaque reads: "Vietnam" and it's always a relief to find Vietnam mentioned on a war memorial.

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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Buggeration. Haven't got a photo for the plaque on top of the wall. Can't remember what was on it but it was a dedication plaque I think. UPDATE, 26-4-06: Plaque on top of the wall reads: "Erected by Woy Woy Ettalong Hardy's Bay Retrned and Services League Sub-Branch Significant Contributors: Commonwealth Government State Government of New South Wales Gosford City ouncil RSL NSW CCDC Vietnam Veterans Federation Gosford City Sub-Branch National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association War Widows Guild Ettalong Mr A Laundy AM Generous Members of the Sub-Branch Dedicated by DEJ Rowe State President Returned and Services League New South Wales 4th September 2005 President B Router Secretary J Carney This plaque was donated by E McMyrtrie & Son's [sic] Monumental Masons Point Clare".

The white plaques on the closest wall have dates from 1981 to 2006. Eight more years and there'll be a century of war dead commemorated in Woy Woy. A centenary I could do without. UPDATE, 26-4-06: When I was there today there were wreaths of poppies and other flowers all over the foot of the main memorial and along the walls. In front of a plaque bearing the date 2006 was a tiny wreath someone had twisted together from rosemary sprigs.

Woy Woy Memorial Park
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The left plaque has the Navy, Army and Airforce insignia across the top then: "Korean War 1950 - 1953 Active Service 1953 - 1958 Peacekeeping".

Right plaque: "In commemoration of Ettalong War Widows Guild Club 50th Anniversary 1954 - 2004 ANZAC Day * April 25th 2004".

The low wall behind is the Brick Wharf Road edge of the park. The building site is possibly Woy Woy's slowest ever building site. It's been going at least a year and maybe 18 months. It's just a block of units for fuck's sake, how long do they take?

I know I'm not the only one who hates seeing repeated surnames on memorials to the dead. In a small town like Woy Woy it's almost certain they were related. Private Ryan wasn't the only poor bastard to lose all his brothers.

Bloody hell, I'm sniffling already and it's not even Anzac Day yet. Think I'll go to the pub.

4 comments:

Kerry said...

Thankyou for your poignant reminder of what ANZAC day is about. The memorial park is a beautiful setting. Unfortunately the weather across New Zealand today is wet and windy, however it hasn't stopped thousands from attending dawn ceremonies.
Lest we forget.

Spike said...

You're welcome.

Bummer about your weather. You must be getting the tail of Cyclone Monica. You heard Darwin had to cancel their service? Hope your weather clears up in time for the end of your marches.

Lest we forget.

Peter Konnecke said...

Spike ... the plaque starting with "To Our Boys" is so right ... they were just boys once.

Spike said...

Yeah. The older I get the more that hits home. That tiny homemade wreath of rosemmary did me in too.