Australian Ex-Prisoners Of War Memorial
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

The Australian Ex-Prisoners Of War Memorial.  This is located within the Botanic Gardens of Ballarat, a regional city of rural Victoria, Australia. This memorial was opened in February 2004 and aims to recognise the pain and suffering of more than 35,000 Australian prisoners of war during the Boer War through to the Korean War and of their families who suffered while awaiting their return. 

The names of all know Australian POWs are listed by conflict, engraved into a 130 metre long wall of polished black granite. At a break in the wall and standing in a shallow pool of water are rough stone obelisks listing the locations of camps where the POWs were incarcerated, that includes a fallen column to represent the 8,600 Australian POWs who died in captivity.

The walkway leading off into the distance beside the wall are paving stones representing railway sleepers and thereby a reference to the notorious Thai-Burma Railway on which many Australian POWs laboured and died under harsh conditions and brutal treatment. The sinking of the POW ship Montevideo Maru, on which over 1,000 POWs from Lark Force plus civilian internees from New Britain perished, is commemorated on a separate granite column which is seen to the left on the photo above.

The granite wall with the dedication.

The 130 metre wall which lists the names of all known Australian Prisoners of War.

A close-up of a small section of the wall.

The obelisks which list the location of the camps.

Looking toward the main obelisk.

Close-up of the main obelisk.

The Montevideo Maru Memorial.
(All photos and text courtesy of Peter F. Williams)
© 2010 Peter F. Williams all rights reserved

Page published Feb. 13, 2013