090 – Hobart War Memorial

Hobart War Memorial

Among the negatives are a group of images of the war memorial used on Anzac Day prior to the building of the existing cenotaph on the site of what was once the Queen’s Battery. This image is dated ANZAC Day 1920. Between 1916 and 1925 the wooden structure designed around a broken column on a plinth was brought out each year for the ANZAC Day Service and placed on a site on the Domain. Its symbolism would not have been lost on those attending, usually thought to represent a life cut short. It was often used on graves in the late 19th century.

The service, in this period was held in the afternoon. In the morning there would be stalls set up around the centre of town raising funds for the soldiers or for the victims of war. See below.

By the end of the service, the temporary war memorial would be completely covered with wreaths from the Governor, politicians, returned service organisations, community groups and the families of those who had not returned.

According to historian Bruce Scates, by the mid-1920’s, this structure like the bodies of the men it honoured had begun to rot away. Replacing it in stone was a commemorative imperative. In December 1925 the new cenotaph was completed.