Soldier Settlers MemorialPrint Page
Memorial commemorates the soldier settlers who settled in the district after World War One. The memorial is a bronze statue, representing a farmer in remnants of a World War One uniform with one hand on a plough handing a rifle to his son in World War Two uniform. The memorial also honours the sons of the soldier settlers who died in service or were killed in action during World War Two.
In 1917 at the height of the Great War when the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area was only just evolving and the channel systems were being installed, the Government reserved irrigable but unimproved land for discharged soldiers of the A.I.F. These men, many of whom carried wounds and illness from gunshot, bayonet and mustard gas, were camped at Bagtown and in barracks at Beelbangera and Yenda. In order to qualify as settlers they worked in gangs for six months preparing farms for ballot as most of them had little prior knowledge of irrigation farming.
The returned soldiers were used to hardship, and toiled under primitive conditions to establish their farms under rules prescribed by Government regulation. Sustenance payments to the men were taken into account when "the charge upon the land" was apportioned to each farm, and had to be repaid when they became productive. By the end of 1921 most of the soldier settlers were in occupation of farms of about 15 to 20 acres preparing to plant trees and vines. Larger allotments of up to 150 acres were also being established as dairies and mixed farms.
|Address:||Banna Avenue, Griffith, 2680|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -34.288132|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Saturday 14th April, 1990|
GRIFFITH SOLDIER SETTLERS MEMORIAL
In Proud And Honoured Memory Of Some 2000
Returned Soldiers Of The A.I.F. Who Came To This
Area At The End Of The Great War 1914-1918.
They Cleared The Virgin Scrub To Establish
Farms Which Have Since Provided The Base
For What Is Now The Most Progressive And
Productive Irrigation Area In Australia.
The Memorial Also Signifies The Debt We
Owe To Those Of Their Sons, Many Of Whom
Were Raised In Poverty And Adversity, Who Gave
Their Lives During The World War of 1939-1945.
"At The Going Down Of The Sun
And In The Morning, We Will Remember Them".
LEST WE FORGET
This memorial, financed by public subscription,
was unveiled on 14th April 1990, by Mrs Belinda Kayess,
widow of an original soldier settler, and mother of a soldier
son killed in 1942 at the age of nineteen.