Flight Lieutenant Keith Anderson Print Page Print this page

23-September-2019 (Dave Rave)
23-September-2019 (Dave Rave)

Photographs supplied by Heather Stevens / Dave Rave

The Celtic cross erected over the grave commemorates Flight Lieutenant Keith Anderson, who perished with his co-pilot in the Australian desert, while searching for Sir Charles Kingsford Smith in the Southern Cross.

Note: The inscription on the plaque says that the monument was unveiled on the 6th July 1930 - this was the original unveiling date but the ceremony was postponed until the 27th July due to bad weather. 

Keith Anderson flew as a World War One fighter pilot in France and planned to fly with Kingsford Smith and Ulm across the Pacific from the United States of America to Australia in 1927. However after many setbacks he had to withdraw for financial reasons and the other two did the flight in 1928 in the `Southern Cross`.

`Smithy` disappeared in his aircraft `Southern Cross` in rough terrain in Australia in 1929. He was found just after Anderson and `Bob` Hitchcock failed to complete their search flight . Their aeroplane had sustained engine failure over the desert and they died of a lingering thirst  and were found many days later amid national mourning. The crowd following the funeral was the largest ever seen in Mosman.

Mosman Municipal Council will ask the Federal Government to erect a permanent memorial over the grave of Flight-Lleutenant Keith Anderson in Rawson Park. A flag marks the spot. About £300 has been colIected towards the cost of the memorial.
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 28 November 1929.

Several thousand people were present when the Governor (Sir Philip Game), at Mosman on Sunday afternoon unveiled a monument erected in memory of the late Flight-Lieut. Keith Anderson, who lost his life when searching for the Southern Cross early in 1929.  "Greater love hath no man than this" is the inscription on a tablet, which states that the monument was erected in memory of "a hero and a gallant gentleman." Designed by Sir Charles Rosenthal, the memorial stands prominently on a cliff overlooking the gateway to the harbor. Around it is native flora of country which is still in its natural state. "It is a fitting resting place for a great Australian," said one of the speakers. 
Excerpt from Nambucca and Bellinger News (NSW). 1 August 1930.


Address:Cross Street, Rawson Park, Mosman, 2088
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.835045
Long: 151.250487
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Cross
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:12-April-1929
Actual Event End Date:12-April-1929
Designer:Sir Charles Rosenthal


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 27th July, 1930
Front Inscription

"The passing years shall leave him ageless loved and unforgot"

In affectionate remembrance of Flight-Lieut Keith Vincent Anderson
Late 73rd Squadron Royal Flying Corps

A hero and a very gallant gentleman who whilst searching in his monoplane `The Kookaburra` with his mechanic H. S. Hitchcock. for the lost "Southern Cross" perished from thirst in the Australian desert 12th April 1929 and was here buried 6th July 1929.

"Greater Love has No Man Than This"

Unveiled by His Excellency Air Vice-Marshall Sir Philip Game C.B.E. K.C.B. D.S.O. Governor of New South Wales

6th July 1930

Erected by public subscription.

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