Sir John Forrest Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

A monument commemorates explorer and statesman, John Forrest.

John Forrest rose to become Australia`s first native-born peer when he was made Baron Forrest in 1918. He began his career in the Surveyor-General`s Office in 1863 when he was apprenticed to the assistant surveyor in Bunbury, and it was as an explorer and surveyor that he achieved fame in Western Australia, the eastern colonies of Australia, and in London. In 1869 he was offered the leadership of a party to search for the lost Leichardt expedition party through an unexplored region near modern-day Laverton.

His next expedition in 1870 was the first west to east crossing of Western Australia by land, following and surveying the route taken by John Eyre when he walked across the Nullarbor in 1840. In 1874 Forrest led another expedition from Geraldton, travelling west to east through the arid western centre to the north-south telegraph line in South Australia. The next year he travelled to London where he gave several public lectures and received popular acclaim as a colonial explorer.

A hitch in a proposal to erect a memorial at Geraldton to commemorate the beginning of John Forrest's epic exploration trip to South Australia in 1874, was reported to the Western Australian Historical Society by the chairman of the memorials committee (Mr. F. L Bray) recently. He reported that the Government was not prepared to make any portion of the foreshore available for town improvement purposes, which included the proposal to erect the memorial. The Geraldton Municipal Council had ex pressed interest in the project provided it could secure an area of the foreshore for this and other town purposes. 

The Town Planning Commissioner (Mr. D. L. Davidson) recently suggested to the Geraldton Council that a block of land owned by the council, opposite the Geraldton Hotel, should be laid out with grass and shrubs. It was hoped, however, that the Government would make portion of the adjoining block available for the purpose of a park. Forrest's famous journey started from the Geraldton Hotel and it was suggested that a memorial should be erected on the other side of the street, but the area of land owned there by the Geraldton Council was found to be too small for the memorial and other purposes suggested.
The West Australian (Perth), 17th June 1939.



Address:Marine Terrace & Fitzgerald Street East, Geraldton, 6530
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.775137
Long: 114.606391
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 22nd August, 1947
Front Inscription

This tablet commemorates the departure of Lord Forrest from Geraldton on 1 April 1874 on his journey of exploration to Central Australia

Erected by the citizens of Geraldton on the occassion of his centenary 22 Aug 1947

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design