Published on 07 November 2023
Aldinga War Memorial opens this weekend
The new Aldinga War Memorial will open to this public for a special Remembrance Day event this Saturday 11 November.
The new Aldinga War Memorial is opposite the Aldinga Arts Eco Village on Port Road and it’s a place to honour those from the local area who have served, and to reflect on their sacrifices.
Official proceedings at the Remembrance Day event begin at 10:30am and the service will include bugle and bag pipes, a free barbecue and poppies for attendees. You may like to lay a wreath or a children’s book (doesn’t have to be a military book) that will be donated and distributed to local preschools and schools. Awarded medals may be worn.
The event is supported by the Department for Infrastructure and Transport, City of Onkaparinga, Aldinga Payinthi College and Rotary Club of Seaford.
About the new war memorial
The accessible space was designed to allow you to walk, sit and gather among the trees while you commemorate, and encourage conversations about Australia’s war and peacekeeping history.
Visitors are encouraged to pause and reflect as you make your way around the memorial, which includes the names of local residents killed in action during the First and Second World Wars, and a list of wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have served.
The centrepiece of the memorial is the Aldinga Soldiers War Monument. The grey granite obelisk was erected at the corner of Main South Road and Stonehouse Lane, Aldinga, in the 1920s to commemorate “Our fallen soldiers” from the First World War. It was later updated to include the name of a soldier who lost his life in the Second World War.
The monument was carefully relocated to this memorial in 2023 following community calls for a new place to honour those who have served, and to safely accommodate the growing crowds, as the duplication project of Main South Road progressed.
City of Onkaparinga Mayor Moira Were said it was exciting to see the new memorial so close to completion.
“A new accessible site to relocate the Aldinga Soldiers War Monument was something we earmarked in our Aldinga Sports Park Master Plan in 2020,” she said.
“Council’s $200,000 contribution towards the project has been matched with $150,000 from the Department for Infrastructure and Transport and $10,000 from the federal government’s Department of Veteran’s Affairs “Saluting Their Service” fund.
“The project’s community working group has been invaluable, with local veterans, relatives of fallen soldier Glen Crisp—who’s named on the monument—and other community and sporting representatives all working with council to guide the memorial’s development.
“I hope as many people from the local community visit the memorial as possible to pause and reflect, and to discover the rich history of the region’s servicepeople, including Crisp, renowned artist Sir Ivor Hele and First Nations soldiers.”
The Crisp Flagpole
Aldinga’s William Glen Crisp (born 1897) was heavily involved with his community, and as a young man, the keen gardener and blacksmith helped raise funds for a town flagpole at the Aldinga Institute Hall.
Sadly, Glen was never to see the flagpole erected. He enlisted for service in September 1915 and was killed in action on the battlefield in Fromelles, France on 19 July 1916.
When news of his death reached Aldinga, the Australian flag was flown at half-mast from the flagpole for the first time. The popular local was just 18 years old.
You can visit the hall’s flagpole, which is about 500 metres east from the war memorial, at 23 Old Coach Road, though the original pole has been replaced over the years.
Sir Ivor Hele
Another renowned local serviceman was Sir Ivor Hele (1912–1993), Australia's longest-serving official war artist. Hele served in North Africa, the Middle East, and New Guinea during the Second World War, and in the Korean War, after enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force on 29 June 1940.
Hele’s postings with the troops sometimes took him just metres from the enemy. The resulting paintings and illustrations captured both the horror and quieter moments of battle, with his work going on to crystallise the Australian experience of war.
Hele was also renowned for his portraiture—which won the Archibald Prize five times—and landscapes, many of which featured his beloved Onkaparinga coastline. Much of his output was produced in his Aldinga home studio, in the former Hotel Aldinga on the corner of Adey and Little Roads, with the Australian War Memorial holding the majority of his works.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service
The new memorial also recognises the service and sacrifice of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who served Australia.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have served in Australia’s armed forces since the time of Federation in 1901, despite a history of discrimination and exclusion.
While prejudice and incomplete records have historically denied First Nations soldiers full acknowledgement for their contributions, the inclusion of the plaque on the memorial forms part of the City of Onkaparinga’s ongoing process of recognition and reconciliation.
Remembrance Day event Facebook page
Virtual War Memorial
Onkaparinga Libraries local history collection