The Royal Australian Regiment National Memorial Walk is the spiritual home of Royal Australian Regiment. It is a ‘living” memorial by association to a dedicated tree that commemorates each person who has died while serving overseas with the Regiment.
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Regiment’s formation, The Royal Australian Regiment Association built the National Memorial Walk and Contemplation Building at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera, Queensland, from funds provided by public donation, assistance from the Federal and Queensland Governments, Brisbane City Council, the RAR Foundation and RAR State and Unit Associations’ members.
The Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency Sir William Deane, AC, KBE dedicated it in memory of our fallen comrades on Sunday 22 November 1998.
Many of the Regiment’s known dead are buried overseas in Japan, Korea and Malaysia. Some remain missing in action presumed dead in Korea. This Walk provides a place of solace and focus within Australia for the commemoration of the sacrifices made by our men.
It has become a special place for RAR current serving and past serving persons and their families and friends of The Royal Australian Regiment to visit.
It’s motto is “Keeping the Spirit Alive”.
The NMW comprises three distinct areas:
1. The Contemplation Building
The Contemplation Building provides a place for contemplation and remembrance. It displays the Honour Board that records the names of those who died in service overseas.
A self-help information kiosk allows visitors to identify the name of a memorialised person and the location within the Walk of that persons memorial plaque and tree.
The building is used for community remembrance activities on Anzac Day, Remembrance Day, other national operational theatre Days (Korea, Malaya, Vietnam etc), anniversaries of Battle Honours, campaigns and unit birthdays and re-unions.
On its forecourt, are a number of RAR Battalion Plaques that record the names of those persons from other Australian and other Nations’ Services who while supporting that Unit were killed in action.
At the base of the flagpole, is a plaque that commemorates those who died while training in Australia.
2. The Walk – Memorial Gardens (The Trees)
The Walk is divided into the RAR’s operational theatre areas (Japan, Korea, Malaya, Malaysia – Sarawak, Vietnam, Somalia, The Solomons, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan) in which the memorial plaques/trees are placed.
The Walk consists of an avenue 700 metres long flanked by more than 1000 native Australian trees.
The inscription on the entrance stones at both Sadlier Street and Regiment Way says:
“In Australia they will remember me. Here is their spirit, in the land they loved. And here we guard the record which they themselves made.”
– G.E.W. Bean, Official War Historian.
And here we, the RAR National Association accept responsibility on behalf of The Royal Australian Regiment to maintain the RAR National Memorial Walk as the showpiece and home of The Regimental Spirit.
At the base of selected trees is an individual plaque bearing the name and details of each of the 706 members of the Regiment who have died on overseas service.
3. The Recreational Area (Diggers’ Rest)
Diggers’ Rest, is a popular social gathering point for many activities. Within this area are the Regiment’s Battle Honour Gardens and a memorial to our Infantry war dogs. Group bookings are arranged through Secretary RARA (Qld).
The RAR Association Queensland manages the Walk’s operations through its Management Committee and the Walk’s maintenance through a group of willing and able RAR veteran volunteers we call Dads’ Army.
The Walk’s maintenance is funded from annual levies on the RAR Battalions, RAR State and RAR Battalion Associations and public donations.
Capital enhancements are planned to improve the Walk’s facilities. A touch-screen kiosk will assist visitors to locate a deceased’s memorial tree. Funds for specific capital works are sought from grants, contributions and donations from many sources: chiefly DVA, Queensland State government, Charitable Foundations and public donations.
You can help us to Keep the Spirit Alive by making a Donation and/or a Bequest
The Walk’s maintenance is the responsibility of RAR Association (Qld) which is lead by the appointed Administrator Dave McDonald and Curator Peter Brennan. The original Curator was Kiwi Gibbons; Kiwi and his wife Margaret Gibbons, OAM have tended the Walk from its inception.
A dedicated group of men (Dads’ Army) attend every Monday morning to cut grass, rake leaves, trim trees, tidy the building and do general maintenance tasks.
Stay current with photo activities of Dads Army, here.