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War Memorials and Honour Rolls in the State of New South Wales, Australia.
Would you like to see the War Memorial from your local area, represented on this website. Please forward us a photograph so that the service of these men and women is not forgotten.
The War Memorial at Bergalia, on the Far South Coast of New South Wales. Situated just off the Princes Highway between Moruya and Coila (near Tuross Head) this memorial is on a little side street - off to the right as you drive in a southerly direction. It originally had a "War Trophy" mounted on top of the memorial. Please see the accompanying images for further details.
Bergalia 08 Maxim Machine Gun
The Bergalia War Memorial originally had a "War Trophy" mounted on top of the concrete plinth. As part of the commemoration process to recognise service during the Great War; an Allotment of 1914-1918 war trophies was sanctioned by the Imperial authorities. In accordance with this; an effort was made for each town or district to be allocated some type of trophy in the form of an artillery piece or machine gun. The Australian War Records Section commanded by (then) Captain John Treloar had been formed to collect and catalogue such relics between 1917 and 1918. Subsequently, a German 08 Maxim Machine Gun had been allocated to Bergalia.
Bergalia Machine Gun goes missing !
During the early stages of the Second World War; Australians experienced a genuine fear that the Japanese were going to invade their country. Indeed, merchant shipping was sunk by Japanese submarines off the coast near Bergalia and the attacks upon Darwin in February, and incursion of midgit submarines into Sydney Harbour in May of 1942 - fed those fears. This fear then led to paranoia by local authorities, if urban legend is to be believed. It has been said that:- fearing the Japanese may be able to remove the First World War relic from the Bergalia War Memorial and use it against the local population, the 08 Maxim was removed and it's fate is now unknown. Whilst this story cannot be confirmed, it is a good 'yarn' and whilst absurd - it is certainly one explanation as to why the gun may have been removed from the memorial. When a re-dedication service was held for the memorial in 2004, it was decided to have a "reproduction" Maxim Gun made up and a local man (Graham Greig) who had family ties to some diggers named on the memorial; rose to the occasion and produced a creditable reproduction of the original weapon.
The Berowra War Memorial in New South Wales. This war memorial as it now stands, is devoid of the "vase" which adorned the top of the structure in it's original form. This ornamental vase is evident in the photographic image supplied by Rob TALBOT of the official opening (circa 1926) in which his great grand-father had the honour of unveiling. During and post World War One, Robert Francis TALBOT served in his own way to support and aid the soldiers at the Front. Robert was very patriotic and this is reflected by his efforts. He served as Chairman of the Committee of Citizens and organised the raising of monies for, among other things, the eventual construction of the War Memorial to honour the Dead and those from the area who put their lives on the line. The memorial today stand proudly restored and re-erected at the Berowra Citizsens Centre.
Image courtesy of Rob TALBOT.