Australian Army Apprentices MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Frank Poole

A monument commemorates the 8000 Australian Army apprentices who trained at Balcombe and Bonegilla between 1948 and 1995, and in particular, to those killed in action or who died while on overseas service. 

The monument was designed to incorporate many of the icons of Apprenticeship days.   The walls and support columns represent the Apprentice-built United States 1st Marine Division Memorial walls at Balcombe.  The gates are copies of the United States 1st Marine Division memorial gates at Balcombe and also the set relocated from Balcombe to the entrance of Latchford Barracks. The Memorial gates were built as a gift by the Army School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (ASEME) with material donated by the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME) Association.

The paved area represents the Schools’ parade grounds with the engraved pavers representing the thousands of Apprentices who spent hours on these parade grounds, and the flagpole at the centre of the monument was fabricated at and donated by the School of Military Engineering (SME) and supports the Australian or the Apprentices School flags. 

The central area containing the Apprentices School badge sculpture and the dedication plaque represents a weapons pit to remind that Army apprentices were also soldiers.  It also acts as a repository for the ashes of many Apprentices.

The wall of the monument contains plaques of apprentices who were killed in action.



Address:Memorial Park, Gaza Ridge Barracks, Bandiana, 3694
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.147209
Long: 146.917413
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Monument Designer:Frank Poole


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 26th October, 2008
Front Inscription

Lest We Forget

Died on overseas active service
[ Names ]

Flagpole Plaque : 

This memorial is dedicated to the 8000 Australian youths who trained at the Australian Army Apprentices School at Balcombe and later at Bonegilla between 1948 and 1995.

These soldiers used the skills and personal values instilled during their time at the School to ensure the continuing high standards of technical efficiency of the Australian Army.

The memorial is particularly recognises those Apprentices who paid the supreme sacrifice whilst serving in Australia and overseas and to those few earlier apprentices recruited and trained at the start of WWII.

This memorial was dedicated on 26th October 2008 in the presence of 600 Army apprentices.

This memorial was unveiled by the Association Patron LtGen Ken J. Gillespie AO, DSC, CSM Chief of Army and the President of the Association LtCol Frank S. Poole (R) Rae(tn).

The memorial was dedicated by Reverend Craig Potter RAAChD and the Reverend Brian Nichols

Flagpole Plaque : 

This flagpole has been donated by the Royal Australian Engineers in grateful recognition of the skills and expertise brought to the Corps by Australian Army Apprentices

Plaque :

These gates were manufactured by members for ACW in 2008
[ Names ]


Left Side Inscription

Inner Pillar :

Army Apprentices School

Outer Piller :

Balcombe  1948 - 1982


Right Side Inscription

Inner Pillar :

The Australian Army Apprentices Association gratefully acknowledges the valued support of the donors and sponsrs below whose contributions, both great and smallm enabled this memorial to be built.

Financial donors
[ Names ]

Brick subscribers
[ Names ]

Sponsors in kind
[ Names ]

Outer Piller :

Bonegilla 1983 - 1996

Inscription in Proximity

Plaque on Seat :

Apprentice be seated, and reflect on your time at the school and the influence that this experience has had on your life ; and remember your mates

Donated by Jock McWhinney 10th Blacksmith

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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