Kapooka Army Training AccidentPrint Page Print this page

Memorial site commemorates an Army Training Accident in 1945.

The new memorial site was erected in May 2010 across from the original plaque. The actual site of the bunker now lies on private land just across from the new memorial, and a change in boundary fencing means the memorial site is open to the community - previously it had been within the lines of the Kapooka Military Area.

Twenty-four young field engineer trainees and two instructors died on May 21, 1945 at the Kapooka Army base after an accidental explosion in their bunker during a training exercise. One man, who was severely injured, survived. The funeral was the biggest in Australian military history and is also believed to be the worst training accident in Australian Army history.



Address:Kapooka Army Barracks, Kapooka, 2661
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.152778
Long: 147.298889
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:21-May-1945
Actual Event End Date:21-May-1945


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 21st May, 2010
Front Inscription
It was the Australian Army`s worst accident.
a tragedy so grim and gruesome it tore open
the heart of a country town.

"On the 21st May 1945, in a single blinding flash of gelignite, 26 young lives were snuffed out in an underground bunker.

When they buried the victims three days later , half of the population of Wagga Wagga - 7000 men, women and children - lined the streets to bow their heads at the passing parade of coffins. It remains to this day the Nation's largest military funeral.

But then something strange happened: Australia forgot".

They will remain in our hearts and minds forever. 
Lest We Forget.  

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