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Commemoration and Creative Responses : Commemoration : Memorials and monuments

Memorials and monuments are a form of commemoration of the actions of Australian service people who died in war, and of the contributions of all those who served in war efforts. In 1904, the first South Australian war memorial was unveiled. It is the fine statue of the mounted trooper at the intersection of King William Road and North Terrace, dedicated to the South Australians who had died in the South African War. The records of the National Memorial Fund, which was established in 1901 to raise funds to erect this monument are kept in the State Library's archival collection. KS Inglis, in Sacred Places: War memorials in the Australian landscape, discusses the significance of the choice by the committee responsible for this monument of a soldier on horse back. Inglis notes that the name of Harry 'Breaker' Morant, who served with the colony's Second South Australian Contingent, and who was executed by a firing squad, was not included.

During the 1920s councils and patriotic groups around South Australia raised funds to erect memorials as a permanent public reminder of the contributions made by members of their communities.

As early as 1919 South Australian Premier, AH Peake initiated debate about the creation of a suitable state memorial, but it was not until 1927 that work began. Inglis describes the development of the memorial, located at the intersection of Kintore Avenue and North Terrace, in Sacred Places: War memorials in the Australian landscape.

Inglis explains that, prior to the unveiling of the North Terrace monument, the Cross of Sacrifice and the Stone of Remembrance, erected in Pennington Gardens in 1922 as a women's memorial, 'became the venue for Anzac Day services larger than the initiators has imagined, as people gathered around it for want of a monument at a more central place'.

Commemoration of the contribution of Australians to the Second World War tended to be more utilitarian. Towns dedicated hospitals, parks and community buildings to the veterans of this war. The names of those who had served, or those who had died, were often added to First World War memorials. In 1949 the teachers and students of Adelaide Teachers College formed a War Memorial Committee to raise funds to establish an art collection as a tribute to their colleagues who had served in the Second World War. The publication Adelaide Teachers College War Memorial documents the rationale and development of the memorial, which included work by artists such as Arnold Shore, Arthur Boyd and Dorrit Black.

Recent South Australian war memorials include the Korea and South East Asia Forces memorial on Port Road, and the Chorus of Stones, situated at Anzac Plaza, Glenelg. Designed by South Australian artist, Anton Hart, the Chorus of Stones consists of six large boulders engraved with the words 'silence', 'love', 'forgive', 'sacrifice', 'loss' and 'respect'. It combines a traditional element of a polished black granite with an image of the Sword of Sacrifice, with a contemporary element of a recording of South Australian representatives of the Army, Navy and Air Force, nurses and a munitions worker speaking about their wartime experiences. The plaque located alongside the memorial reads in part,

This memorial commemorates all of the military conflicts that have involved Australian troops and support services throughout our nation's history. It is solemnly dedicated to the memory of those who served and the sacrifices they have made.

ANZAC Arch
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Armistice Day Service
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'Chorus of stones' memorial at Glenelg
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Cross of Sacrifice
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Cross of Sacrifice
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Images of Dernancourt, France
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Korea and South East Asia commemorative service
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Memorial, Kadina
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Men of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade returning to South A
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Sacred places : war memorials in the Australian landsca
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Sacred places : war memorials in the Australian landsca
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South African War Memorial, North Terrace, Adelaide
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