More than 100-thousand Australians, who gave their lives fighting alongside British troops are named in a new memorial in London’s Hyde Park unveiled on the 85th Anniversary of the end of World War One.
Prime Minister John Howard said the memorial was a warning to anyone wanting to undermine world peace.
“History’s lessons is that evil will always dwell within the world, in the past represented by armies rolling across national borders, in this new century finding form in acts of indiscriminate terrorism inspired by distorted faith.”
Queen Elizabeth said the memorial would stand as a permanent record of their sacrifice.
“All who pass by will be reminded of the immense contribution made by Australians to final victory. I hope it will also reminder future generations of Australians who come to visit London that the support of their predecessors in those critical days will always be remembered here with respect and thankfulness.”
Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair said it was a lasting memorial to the friendship between the two countries.
He said the memorial would ensure that no-one would forget the unique link between Australia and Britain.
“It is also a physical sign of our shared commitment to stand together still to defend our two countries still in times of conflict. The world, thankfully has moved on from those two terrible conflicts, but the bonds and friendship between our two countries remains as strong as ever.”
Joining a crowd of about 3,000 at the dedication were a group of 28 World War II veterans who made the trip from Australia to honour friends who hadn’t come home.
The project cost the Australian government 9 million dollars and followed Westminster Council’s instructions not to include statues of soldiers.