Sir Ross SmithPrint Page Print this page

Sir Ross Smith
Sir Ross Smith

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Bryan Cole

The sculpture commemorates the aviator, Sir Ross Smith (1892 - 1922) and the first aeroplane flight from England to Australia.

Smith`s flight from England to Australia in 1919 was a symbolic challenge to the perceived isolation of Australia from the rest of the world.  It was the first such flight in less than 30 days, and was in response to a 10,000 pound prize offered by the South Australian Government.

Sir Ross Smith tragically died in 1922 in a crash in England while testing an aeroplane for a planned around the world flight. Following his death the public was quick to donate to a “shilling fund”, opened by the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, to provide a fitting memorial.

One of the most impressive ceremonies witnessed in the history of Adelaide took place at Creswell Gardens, on Saturday morning, when a statue was unveiled as a memorial to Sir Ross Smith (reports the "Advertiser"). On a mild summer day, and in the presence of a large gathering, honour was paid to the memory of one whose name for many a day to come will continue as a household word, and be revered in the history of the State as an example of glorious Australian manhood. 

In unveiling the memorial statue, the Lieutenant-Governor (Sir George Murray) said it was a tribute to the memory of South Australia's most famous son. Dr. Lendon, in handing over the care of the statue to the Lord Mayor, said Sir Ross's greatest exploit was no chance stunt. The Lord Mayor, in accepting the statue on behalf of the citizens of South Australia, remarked that they were paying homage to a pioneer in the latest methods of transport.

On December 10, 1919 Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith, with Lieutenants Shiers and Bennett, landed at Port Darwin, after having completed the first successful aeroplane flight from Britain to Australia. Saturday, therefore, was a fitting day for the unveiling of a statue to the memory of Sir Ross, who was killed in an aeroplane smash in Britain in 1922.
Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA), 13 December 1927.



Address:King William Road & War Memorial Drive, Creswell Gardens, North Adelaide, 5006
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.916004
Long: 138.597984
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:12-November-1919
Actual Event End Date:10-December-1919
Designer:F. Brook Hitch


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 10th December, 1927
Front Inscription

Sir Ross Smith K.B.E.

Born at Semaphore Australia
December 4th 1892
Died at Weybridge England
April 13th 1922.

Erected by the people of South Australia to commemorate the first successful flight by aeroplane from England to Australia

Nov 12th - Dec 10th 1919

Mi Robur et aes Triplex

Back Inscription

Vickers Vimy Rolls Aeroplane

Sir Keith Smith K.B.E.

Lieut W. H. Shiers   Lieut J. M. Bennett 
A.F.M.                     A.E.M. M.S.M

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