This war memorial is situated in Wilberforce Park, Macquarie Street, Wilberforce, New South Wales across the road from St. John’s Anglican Church. Positioned on the high side of the park, the memorial is sited at the end of an avenue of mature trees which lead from the memorial entrance gates on the south-western corner of the park at the intersection of George and Duke Roads. The gates were unveiled following World War II by Cr. H. C. Matheson, President of Colo Shire Council on 19 August 1947.
The memorial was not always situated in this location. From 1918 until 1966, the monument stood near the entrance to David Street opposite the general store near the intersection with Wilberforce Road. During the last year of World War I, in May 1918 a fund raising sale was held at the Australian Hall, George Road, Wilberforce which launch the campaign to raise sufficient funds for the erection of a permanent Soldiers' Memorial in honour of the young men of the district who served during the recent conflicts overseas. The success of the event was reported in detail in the Windsor and Richmond Gazette on 24 May 1918.
The memorial was constructed over the next four months and was unveiled by Hawkesbury member of the NSW Legislative Assembly, Robert Bruce Walker on the 12 October 1918. The forthcoming celebration was announced in the Windsor and Richmond Gazette on the 20 September 1918. A market day in the Australian Hall in aid of the Red Cross was also to be held following the ceremony. On the 18 October a lengthy report detailing the events of the day appeared in the Windsor and Richmond Gazette.
The white marble memorial was constructed by Mr. Kingsley and his partner Mr. Cook and included names from around the district including Wilberforce, Ebenezer and Freemans Reach. In relief on the top obelisk of the memorial is carved two crossed Lee-Enfield rifles. The memorial stood in situ in David Street until its removal and re-erection in the park which was organised by Colo Shire Engineer, Stan Brown ready for an unveiling ceremony on Anzac Day 1966. The memorial now commemorates the following conflicts: The Great War 1914-1919; World War II 1939-1945; Korea 1950-1953 and Vietnam 1965-1972.
Wilberforce War Memorial. Cathy McHardy October 1990.
For details of names recorded on the monument: http://www.hawkesbury.net.au/memorial/wilberforce_memorial/index.html
For further information on the history and heritage of the war memorial and park: https://www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/6302/WilberforceParkCMP.pdf
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