The Parkes Cemetery Soldiers` Memorial commemorates those who died in service or were killed in action in World War One.
Monument characteristics :
A marble statue of a World War One soldier holding an unbayoneted rifle and standing at ease. It is supported by a Yorkshire and Pyrmont pedestal which is mounted on three large steps with risers to place wreaths on.
The memorial which has been erected in the Parkes cemetery by the returned soldiers of the district and the members of the Girls Patriotic League to the memory of the men from this portion of the State who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War was unveiled on Sunday morning by Sir Neville Howse, V.C. M.H.R., in the presence of a good attendance of the relatives and friends of the fallen men and prominent residents of the town. After a selection ("Ravenscliffe") by the Parkes Town Band, under Bandmaster Kendall, the Rev. Mr. Ashby intimated that apologies for non-attendance had been received from the Rev. A. E. Weston, Rev. T. Mathers, Rev Father Howard and Rev. Bostock Jones.
The ceremony was opened by the singing of the hymn, " Oh God, our help in ages past," by those assembled and the intoning of the Lord's Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Ashby. Mr. James Cobley, President of the Parkes Branch of the R. S. and S. League, then introduced Sir Neville Howse as a distinguished soldier who was known to practically every one in New South Wales, and who had come to Parkes especially for this unveiling ceremony. The memorial had been erected by the returned soldiers and the Patriotic Girls League of Parkes, who had decided to erect it to keep green the memory of those soldiers who had laid down their lives for their country and Empire. He had much pleasure in introducing Sir Neville Howse.
Sir Neville Howse said that it was his privilege and honor to unveil this memorial to the memory of those who had died in the late big war. Nothing that he could say could add to the honor due to the men or the great number of women who had given up their lives actually at the front, for honor was due to the women who went as nurses as well as to the men. And behind them they had the people of Australia, for directly the people decided to take no further part in the war then the soldiers of Australia would have ceased to take part in it. This is what had happened in the case of Germany. The German soldiers would have continued fighting, but there was no one behind them and the people of Germany had realised that the time had come for defeat. The Australian soldier owed a great debt to the people of the country and especially to the women war workers, for they had been kept well supplied with necessities and even with luxuries. And there was not one among the soldiers of Australia who did not thank the people for what they had done. And funds were raised which had enabled men to enjoy their furlough when they had a chance of relief from the fighting line.
Personally he had distributed thousands of pounds among the soldiers going on furlough and he wished to thank the people who had raised those funds. This memorial was to commemorate the men who made the supreme sacrifice. He was not speaking today above their bodies, but he felt as if he were doing so, and it was fitting that their memories should be preserved, for they had ensured the liberty of the people. He was not going to praise these men for it was unnecessary. The memorial he was about to unveil was a very fine one, which had been erected by the returned soldiers and the Girl War Workers. Their dead were not resting on foreign soil, for the land of the cemeteries in which they are lying had been handed over to the British nation. Sir Neville closed by formally unveiling the ceremony.
The "Last Post" was sounded by Mr. R. Kitto, while the returned men present stood to attention. The Ven. Archdeacon Campion said that he was present in a purely official capacity in response to an invitation from the Committee to attend the unveiling of this very beautiful memorial. They had to consider both the living and the dead; the dead that they might rest in peace and the living that the blessing of Almighty God might descend upon them and dwell with them for ever. The ceremony was brought to a close by the National Anthem by the Band. A number of wreaths were placed at the foot of the memorial by the relatives of the fallen soldiers.
The Western Champion 15 January 1925.
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|Address:||Want Street, Parkes Cemetery, Parkes, 2870|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -33.137193|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||04-August-1914|
|Actual Event End Date:||28-June-1919|
|Monument Designer:||C. J. Shakespeare & Son (Parkes, NSW)|
|Monument Manufacturer:||Denson (Tumut, NSW)|
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Monday 12th January, 1925|Front InscriptionSource:
THE GREAT WAR
1914 - 1918
In memory of
Erected By Returned Soldiers
Parkes Girls Patriotic League.
In Memory Of The Fallen
Unknown Australian Soldier
75TH ANNIVERSARY OF
11. 11. 1993