Unley Publications : Unley Life Winter 2015
UNLEYLIFE 17 The Unley Museum’s recent collaboration with the UniSA Architecture Museum and latest exhibition, Living Sites of Mourning, features 12 memorial gardens built across South Australia during World War I. Unley Museum Curator Elizabeth Hartnell says “the community driven exhibition brings to light the fact that these memorial sites were created for people to grieve lost soldiers during World War I, as at the time the government did not repatriate the deceased bodies. The objective of the exhibition is to call public attention to a form of memorial that is unique to South Australia.” During World War I, monuments, statues, buildings, and gardens were designed and became a sentiment to fallen and missing soldiers of war. Memorial gardens themselves are unique to South Australia, and over the years have sparked much interest. “ T he exhibition took its name Living Sites of Mourning because so many physical memorials and statues exist across the country but nowhere else are there gardens,” says Elizabeth. Director of the Architecture Museum, Associate Professor Christine Garnaut says ‘the collaboration bet ween UniSA and the Unley Museum has been an excellent oppor tunity to research and promote a significant but under- recognised type of war memorial that was popularly embraced across our state”. There are 53 known memorial gardens in South Australia. Among the sites that are featured in the exhibition is The Soldiers Memorial Garden located on the corner of Unley Road and Thomas Street. This garden has monuments such as two 77mm guns, bandstand, remembrance arch and cenotaph. Our soldiers The City of Unley has strong links with those who served in the Great War. The original 27th Battalion was known as "Unley's own" due to the large number of Unley residents who served in it. It was also the Battalion of former Unley Mayor Colonel Walter Dollman, who commanded it at the landing at ANZAC Cove. The stories of many of those soldiers are now available to read on the Council website. Here are just two of them, both Victoria Cross recipients. Arthur Blackburn, a newly-qualified lawyer, was living in Hyde Park when he enlisted. In July 1916, 2nd Lieutenant Blackburn, 23, was directed with 50 men to drive the enemy from a strong point at Pozières on the Western Front. In the face of fierce opposition, he captured 250 yards of trench and then returned, at tacked and seized another 120 yards of trench, for which he was awarded the VC. Blackburn went on to have a distinguished career both in politics and the army, and died in 1960. Philip Davey, who was born in Unley, enlisted in 1914. In June, 1918, again on the Western Front at Merris, under fierce fire he attacked a machine gun post with hand grenades, eventually killing all its crew of eight and then turning the gun back on the enemy until he was badly wounded. He survived to return to Adelaide, where he died at Springbank in 1953. Living Sites of Mourning Living Sites of Mourning will run until 22 September 2015. Unley Museum, 80 Edmund Ave, Unley Open Monday to Wednesday 10am - 4pm and Sunday 1.30 - 4 .30pm. Closed on public holidays. Admission is free. For more information phone 8372 5117 or visit unley.sa .gov.au/museum Opening ceremony of the Unley Soldier’s Memorial Gardens, 24 April 1921 P 002105.
Unley Life Autumn 2015
Unley Life Spring 2015