Lake Macquarie History

Teralba soldiers memorial and honour roll

On the corner of York Street and Anzac Parade (formerly Macquarie Street) Teralba stands the community's memorial to local soldiers who served their country during war time. Originally it stood near the right of way close to the entrance to Teralba Railway Station, but was moved into Anzac Park in 1963.

photo: unveiling of soldiers' memorial, teralba

In June 1917, the Teralba Send-off and Home Reception Committee put forth the "intention of the citizens to perpetuate the memory of Teralba soldiers" with a memorial in the form of a monument to be established in a public place. (Newcastle Morning Herald, 20 June 1917) Three sites were proposed: the entrance to Five Islands, in front of the School of Arts, on the corner of Margaret and Macquarie Streets, and a small parcel of land purchased from Mr T. C. Frith, the site where it was finally erected. A Roll of Honour Committee was formed, with Mr H. Thorncroft as president, Mrs Howell as treasurer and Mr J. Jones as secretary.

The committee had around £130 in hand and raised further funds for the construction of the monument, designed by Messers Meldrum and Markey of Newcastle, totalling costs of £147. Facing east, a square Australian grey granite pillar stands on a plinth of solid concrete and is inscribed on three sides with the names of the servicemen. Two crossed rifles, fixed over a laurel wreath above a soldier's slouch hat are carved into the white marble panel, which is inserted at the front of the monument in the concrete base. Beneath this is the inscription "Erected by the citizens of Teralba in honour of the men who answered their country's call and fought in the Great War." A second marble insert is found on the bottom of the north facing panel which bears the details of the unveiling. Originally sixty three names were inscribed into the columns, and December 1941 Mrs C. Turner proposed funds be raised to enable the addition of names of those who had served during World War II.

photo: war memorial, anzac pde, teralba

The unveiling took place on April 27, 1918 in the presence of a large crowd. Presiding over events was President of Lake Macquarie Shire Council, Councillor Johnson who, along with local politician, J. Estell MP, praised the committee for such a beautiful monument. They both conveyed sentiments stating it would stand as a great reminder and testimony to those local men who responded to the Empire's call. Returned soldier, Lance Corporal W. N. Miller, the first local man to enlist, was invited up to unveil the roll. As he was doing this, wreaths were laid and school children sang "God Bless Our Splendid Men" to the accompaniment of the Infantry Band. This part of the ceremony was reported to be "impressive" (Newcastle Morning Herald, 29 April 1918).

In two separate incidences in April and November 1941, the monument was damaged by a lorry. Discussion was held as to the viability of moving the monument to another location after the second incident. A public meeting was held where it was decided that the memorial remain at its current location. The refurbishment was completed in time for the 1942 ANZAC service, where it was reported that one hundred people were in attendance.

The memorial, which contains the names of 72 soldiers, has hosted many ANZAC Day services since it was erected in 1918 and remains a reminder of those local Teralba men who served their country in times of war