Killingworth War Memorial
The memorial was unveiled on Saturday 1st July 1922 at 3pm. Funds had been raised by a war memorial committee, and the monument was erected on land purchased by the people of Killingworth, rather than on a public thoroughfare like other memorials of the time. This was done to ensure continued ownership, and avoid being required to move the memorial for roadworks etc. in the future. It was also planned to have a park and landscaping surrounding the structure, and for it to be a place of reflection for residents.
The Killingworth War Memorial is a listed heritage item in the Lake Macquarie City Council Local Environmental Plan 2014. It has both historical and social significance in representing the impact of World War One on small communities across Australia.
Killingworth was reputed to be "the little village that had the splendid record of having the largest number of enlistments, according to the population, of any town in the Commonwealth" (Newcastle Morning Herald Tue 19 Sep 1922, page 5).
"Larger centres of population might envy the war record held by Killingworth. An official return supplied by the police authorities shows that Killingworth has a greater percentage of Its population at the front than any other police patrol district in New South Wales." (Northern Times Tue 12 October 1916 page 2).
The memorial records 67 enlistments (1911-1918) and 20 deaths from a population recorded in 1912 as being 587.
The following is a list of the names, as they appear on the monument:
Roll of Honour
|W. Innes||W. McWilliams||J. Stewart||J. Craig|
|A. Mitchell||S. Greenfield||C. Horne||A. Greenfield|
|J. Pritchard||J. Milne||R. Cherry||C. J. Gould|
|J. Lee||G. Beck||F. Weiss||H. Fullicks|
|R. Convery||R. Steel||A. Wright|
|W. McKay||J. Gorman||A. Craig|
|H. Kay||B. Rae||G.McKenzie||A. Ford|
|J. Brownlee||F. Jones||J. Reece.||G. Pritchard|
|L. C. Murray||J. Cherry||W. Matthews||D. Horne|
|S. Craig||W. Punton||J. Melanopy||C. Muir|
|T. Kelly||C. Faith||J.O. Cherry||G. McGeachie|
|T. Ansell||A. Iverson||J. Dempsey|
|B. Barry||A. Milne|
|H. McGregor||R. Kennaway|
The base of the monument bears the following inscription:- Erected by the citizens of Killingworth in honor of the men from the district who fought for God, King and country in the Great War. 1914-1919.
The memorial has both historical and social significance in memorializing the contribution of indigenous soldiers in the First World War.
Three of the soldiers listed on the memorial William Punton (Plunk), Alfred Punton and James Punton are indigenous soldiers, descended from Maria Lock a daughter of Yarramundi, chief of the Boorooberongal clan of the Darug. The three Punton brothers, grandsons of Eliza Henrietta Parsons nee Lock, a daughter of Maria Lock, enlisted between March and May 1916. Their grandmother Eliza was born at Liverpool but died at Wallsend near Newcastle, which their service records show was also the birthplace of all three men. Although Alfred and James Anderson Punton received early discharge because of ill health, the youngest, John remained in France until 1919. In all twenty one members of the Locks and their extended family are known to have volunteered for service in World War One and most served overseas. Their contribution is illustrated in "The Lock Family in World War One" (2008) pub. Indigenous Histories.
What differentiates the contribution they made is its context - the fact that the constitution of their country discriminated against Aboriginal people on grounds of race and that regulations, not always uniformly applied, prohibited men not substantially of European origin from serving in the AIF. During World War I approximately 500 Aborigines and a few Torres Strait Islanders managed to enlist. Indigenous Australians in the First World War served on equal terms but after the war, in areas such as education, employment, and civil liberties, Aboriginal ex-servicemen and women found that discrimination remained or, indeed, had worsened during the war period.
Photographs of service men
This work by Lake Macquarie City Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License