Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial (Ballarat) Back to Search

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Details

Location 1A Carlton St, Lake Wendouree , Ballarat, Ballarat North - Victoria, Australia
Type Memorial
Description

This memorial to Australian Prisoners of War takes the observer on a journey, more than 36,000 Australian men and women were held captive as prisoners by the enemy during the Boer War, World War 1, World War 2 and the Korean War. This memorial honours them. There were no Australian Prisoners of War in the Vietnam War.

The journey begins on a long pathway designed to create a strong visual perspective that emphasises the great distance Australians travelled to war.

The paving stones forming a pathway are shaped like railway sleepers in recognition of the iconic place of railway journeys in the history of Australian Prisoners of War.

A roll of names of all known Australian Prisoners of War is etched into a black granite wall lying parallel to the pathway. The roll gives no rank, number or enlistment detail. In recognition that sacrifice, suffering and desperation acknowledged no person's status. These men and women are equals.

In a break in the wall a row of stone obelisks stands sentinel in a shallow pool of water. Each bears the names of countries where Australians were held as Prisoners of War. The obelisks are out of reach across the water, symbolising that all the prison camps were overseas, far from home and the comfort of family and friends. The size of each obelisks and their position in the water creates a powerful image and offers a place for reverence and reflection.

The obelisks form a silent line of guardians watching over these prisoners of war for ever. The fallen stone honours all those men and women who died as prisoners of war.

The roll of names on the granite wall continues towards a large stone at the end of the pathway. The stone rests on a small granitite wall and bears the timeless instruction 'Lest We Forget'. This is the end of the journey – an intimate space for contemplation.

Water springs from beneath the 'Lest We Forget' stone then flows down the wall into the narrow watercourse in front of the first group of names and into the reflective pool, then continues past the second group of names. Finally it disappears under the pathway, returning to its source under the 'Lest We Forget' stone to start the journey again.

Water symbolizes the essential nature of man, sacrifice, suffering, spirituality, healing, cleansing, birth and re-birth. In this memorial it forms a continuous cycle, binding all Australian Prisoners of War together for all time.

The memorial is created from natural materials and is designed to be in harmony with the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, and to create a sense of timeless, dignity and respect.

Concept &Design: Peter Blizzard OAM (Dec’d)

Memorial Highlights

2004-The Memorial Opening-listing the names of over 36000 Australian Ex-Prisoners of War…the first Memorial to list all Australian Prisoners of War

2008-By an Act of Parliament “The First Military Memorial of National Significance”

2010-Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register

2010-Listed by the City of Ballarat on the Ballarat Treasures Register

2012-Listed on the Australian Web Archive “Pandora” Project

2015-Victorian War Heritage Trail-100 places for 100 years

There is a Virtual Tour available for viewing on the official website.

Read more...
Built Completed on the 31st January 2004. Built over a 12-month period from January/ February 2003
Opened 6 February 2004 by General Peter Cosgrove AM MC
Inscription

Visit website for details: http://www.powmemorialballarat.com.au/

Condition

View Tributes of Honour Description

Names

Showing 8 people of interest from memorial

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AHERN, William Henry

Service number 6457
Private
15th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 10 Apr 1898

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BUTCHER, Reginald George

Service number 4674
Private
27th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 12 Oct 1892

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BARDSLEY, James William

Service number 3117
Private
47th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 18 Jun 1876

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BROWNING, Robert James

Service number 3119
Private
52nd Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 10 Mar 1895

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BIRD, Henry

Service number 1884
Private
48th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born Jun 1892

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BETTLES, Richard William

Service number 5671
Private
16th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 20 Mar 1897

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BLECHYNDEN, Reuben John

Service number W70688
Lance Sergeant
Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC)
Volunteer Defence Corps (WW2)
Born 20 Feb 1895

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COUZENS, William Walter

Service number 4497
Private
47th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 23 Apr 1884

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