Tamworth is home to a number of memorials and monuments that give insight to the war history of the region and the nation. Tamworth RSL Sub-branch on Bridge St can provide more details on war memorials and monuments in the area or visit their website.
Enter ANZAC Park from the Brisbane Street side and you’ll pass through the ANZAC Park Memorial Gates. They honour the memory of 194 young men from the area who gave their lives in WWI.
Just beyond the gates is the Sandakan Memorial, a scale model in bronze, showing the terrain of the Sandakan death marches in Borneo during WWII. Three plaques list the 150 northern NSW enlisted men who died in the marches, and a fourth plaque tells the story of the Sandakan tragedy
Two impressive metal gates stand at the entrance to the World War II Memorial in Bicentennial Park The Man-O-War Gates originally stood over the Man O’ War steps at the naval jetty at Farm Cove, Sydney Harbour. For over 150 years, these steps served as a landing and embarkation point for Australian and British sailors in peacetime and war. Through these gates, Royal Australian Navy officers and sailors left to serve their country in conflicts from the Boer to Vietnam wars.
The gates were brought to the region by Graham Diamond and in August 1995 they were donated to the local Tamworth RSL sub-branch. The memorial gates are dedicated to the men and women of the Royal Australian Navy and were unveiled on 9 February 1997 by Major General “Digger” James, the national president of the RSL
Memorial to the Australian Light Horse
A tribute to the men of the ANZAC corps who served in the Boer, Sudan and First World wars, the Waler Light Horse memorial statue is located in Tamworth's Bicentennial Park and depicts an Australian World War I trooper saying farewell to his Waler horse in the deserts of the Middle East.
Between 1861 and 1931 approximately 500,000 horses were exported from Australia to the Indian Army, the Boer War and Egypt with The Australian Light Horse as remounts. Of these horses only one returned, a gelding Sandy belonging to Major General Sir William Bridges. The Trooper’s uniform and the military saddler on the horse are based on original WW1 equipment. Designed and sculpted by talented artist, Tanya Bartlett of Newcastle, NSW, the bronze memorial was unveiled and dedicated on 29 October 2005 by well-known and respected, retired Army Major General WB Digger James AC, MBE, MC. The monument is a feature of ANZAC Day ceremonies and other army commemorative services.
Did you know?
- The ‘Waler Horse’ was so named because by far the largest number came from New South Wales
- The Waler Horse carried it’s trooper and up to 130kg of equipment, rations and ammunition
- It derived it’s heritage from the stock horses used on cattle and sheep stations
- The Waler Horse is known for it’s temperament, durability and ability to cope with terrible conditions and situations in times of battle
- The Australian horses sent to war earned the respect of soldiers around the world
Railway War Memorial Park
Located in Marius Street, between Brisbane & Bourke Streets, the Railway War Memorial Park (part of Tamworth Railway Station) houses war memorials honouring:
those who fought for the Empire in the South African War of 1899-1902; the Korea, Malaya and Borneo Memorial to those who served in the Korean War and the conflicts in Malaya and Borneo; the Vietnam Memorial to commemorate those who served in the Vietnam War; and the National Servicemen’s Memorial, which honours those who undertook national service in the Australian Defence Forces from 1951-1972.
Gipps Street Memorial Avenue of Honour
The Gipps Street Memorial Avenue of Honour was erected by Tamworth RSL Sub-branch in memory of the men and women who suffered and died for their country
Bridge Street Memorial
The Bridge Street Memorial is dedicated to all who served Australia in war, and was the site of ANZAC Day services for many years.
Royal Australian Air Force Memorial
The industrial area of Tamworth - Taminda - was originally home to the aerodrome and Sixth Elementary Flying School, where trainee pilots learned how to fly Tiger Moths during the WWII years. It is now home to the Royal Australian Air Force Memorial, located in Barnes Street, Taminda.
2/30th Infantry Battalion – 8 Division AIF Memorial
The 2/30th Infantry Battalion – 8 Division AIF Memorial on Showground Road, Taminda, was built on the location of the army camp that housed over 100 men during World War I.
The anchor belonging to the HMAS Tamworth is installed in Bicentennial Park in Tamworth as a memorial to the men who served on her between 1942 and 1946.
The anchor was erected by the Rotary Club of Tamworth West on the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy on 10 July 2011.
HMAS Tamworth was one of 60 Bathurst class corvettes constructed during World War II and one of 20 built on Admiralty order but manned by personnel of and later commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Tamworth was commissioned at Maryborough on 8 August 1942. Tamworth was paid off at Sydney on 30 April 1946, having steamed over 125,000 miles. On the same day she was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy and renamed "Tidore"
In December 1949 the ship was transferred to the Indonesian Navy and renamed "Pati Unus". She was disposed of in 1969.
RSL Tamworth Sub Branch
The Returned and Services League of Australia New South Wales Branch (RSL NSW) was formed in 1917 and currently has 40,780 members in 350 sub-Branches throughout New South Wales.
Visit RSL Tamworth Sub Branch
107 Bridge Street, Tamworth NSW 2340
Phone: 02 6762 3949
For more information, visit the Returned & Services League Australia website