Balingup War Memorial, Balingup, Western Australia

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Date: About 1951 [unknown]
Location: Balingup, Western Australia, Australiamap
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Balingup War Memorial

Balingup War Memorial was built to honour those residents of the town and surrounding area who served in the two World Wars in 1914-18 and in 1939-45, and who died in service.

It illustrates the enormous human sacrifice made by the small regional communities and commemorates the renowned fighting spirit of the Anzacs.


Post-World War II (1939-45), the Balingup branch of the Returned Services League (R.S.L.) formed a War Memorial Committee to work towards erecting a memorial to citizens of the district who had served in the war. In late 1950, the State Housing Commission granted permission to erect the proposed memorial, which was to be ‘of brick construction, surmounted by a clock’ (West Australian 9 Dec. 1950). There was some debate in the community about the suitability of a memorial in this form. The women’s auxiliary of the local R.S.L. considered ‘a swimming pool with bordering land grassed and made into a park and playground for children would be a more fitting and lasting memorial’, and more widely supported than that proposed by the War Memorial Committee (West Australian 21 Dec. 1950). They requested a door to door petition to ascertain the views of local residents including many who had come to settle in the district since the Committee was formed.

Balingup War Memorial, a red brick tower style memorial, surmounted by a clock, was duly erected. Three bronze plaques were affixed to the memorial, inscribed as follows:

  • To Those Who Served;
  • Died on Service 1914 to 1918, recording 34 names; and
  • Died on Service 1939 to 1945, recording 14 names.

According to a 1991 survey, the occurrence of a clock memorial post World War One is very rare in Australian and New Zealand. Clock memorials constitute only 2.4% of all World War One memorial types [1]

Thereafter Balingup War Memorial was the venue for ANZAC Day services in the district.

Balingup War Memorial had been ‘unwittingly’ erected on part of the railway reserve. This was pointed out to Ross Hutchinson, M.L.A., Minister for Works, when he came to Balingup to open the water supply in December 1965. He took the matter in hand and the R.S.L. was granted a lease of the site at a peppercorn rental.

By the late 1970s, the Balingup Sub-Branch of the R.S.L. had ceased to exist; the clock no longer functioned and has remained un-working.

In 2012, Balingup War Memorial continues to be highly valued by the local community and it is well maintained.


  1. Inglis, K.S., & Phillips, J, ‘War Memorials in Australia and New Zealand’ in Rickard, J. & Spearitt, P. (eds.) (1991), Packaging the Past? Public Histories, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, pp. 186-87.

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