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30-March-2008 (Ian Doyle)
30-March-2008 (Ian Doyle)

Photographs supplied by Bryan Cole / Ian Doyle

The portrait bust commemorates Tom Kruse, the outback mailman who delivered mail on the Birdsville track. This was the first of three memorials with the other two to be placed at each end of the Birdsville Track at Marree and Birdsville.

Esmond Gerald (Tom) Kruse MBE (1914 – 2011) was a former mail carrier on the Birdsville Track in the border area between South Australia and Queensland. He became known as the result of John Heyer's 1954 film The Back of Beyond. The year after the film's release in the 1955 New Year Honours, Kruse was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for "services to the community in the outback".

The famous Badger mail truck which delivered more than 7000 letters from all over the world, is now restored and housed permanently at the National Motor Museum, has recently been bequeathed to the people of South Australia.

Inducted into the National Transport Hall of Fame in 2000 at Alice Springs, Kruse has now been officially recognized as an Outback Legend by Australian Geographic, while both he and the Badger were nominated South Australian icons by the National Trust.


Address:Shannon Street, National Motor Museum, Birdwood, 5234
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.819849
Long: 138.954645
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Patricia Moseley


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 30th March, 2008
Front Inscription

Plaque :

Officially unveiled by 
His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery 
 AC CVO MC (Retd) 
Governor-General of Commonwealth of Australia 
E. G. (Tom) Kruse MBE and Valma Kruse
    30 March 2008

Plaque :

Sculptured by  
Patricia Moseley F.R.S.A.S.A.

Supported by 

CMV Foundation                      David & Neil Brook
RFDS                                        Kym & Jo Fort
National Motor Museum            Brendan Eblen
Corrugated Air Productions       R, E, D, & J Bell
Roger Clarke                             Doug Brockfield
Keith Webb                                Neil Weidenbach
Ian Doyle                                   Burge family
Rasheed family                         Bell family
Crawford family                         John & June Parnell
Frank & Mary Bawden              Public donation


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