Skip to content

Key

Memorial Grove

Introduction

The RAAF Memorial Grove is an area designated by the National Capital Authority to be used as a memorial park for the RAAF Association (ACT Division). The park, located at the intersection of the Federal Highway and Majura Road, forms part of the Canberra-Sydney Remembrance Driveway.

Background

In 1953 the then National Capital Development Commission (NCDC), in concert with the Remembrance Driveway Committee, designated Territory land for the RAAF Association (ACT Division) to develop as a memorial grove. The Remembrance Driveway Committee determined the landscape tree planting in accordance with the Remembrance Driveway Master Plan.

The Remembrance Driveway Committee (RDC), RAAF Association (ACT Division), National Capital Authority (NCA) and the ACT Government are the principal stakeholders in the Memorial Grove. In addition, RAAF Association (ACT Division) is the approving authority for the installation of commemorative plaques in the Grove within the framework agreed by the NCA.

The Memorial Grove was formally consecrated on the 22nd February 2002 by the Principal Air Chaplains in the presence of the then Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Angus Houston, Chief Minister of the ACT Mr Jon Stanhope, the Chairman National Capital Authority, Air Marshal David Evans and distinguished visitors.

Members of the Division have supported the Grove for many years. The late Colin Fereday, Arthur Skimin, Steve Skimin and Ron Usher were major supporters from 2000. Arthur Skimin and Lance Halvorson procured and arranged for the installation of the memorial propeller, ably assisted by Keny Engineering, Peter Cullerne and Steve Skimin.

In 2000 the Group Captain Hughie Edwards VC Memorial Park was established on adjacent Territory land. With the co-location of the Edwards VC Memorial Park and the RAAF Memorial Grove, the ACT Government assumed prime responsibility for maintenance. The RAAF Association (ACT Division) and community groups continue to assist.

Purpose of The RAAF Memorial Grove

The RAAF Memorial Grove, with its central memorial cairn, is not intended as a substitute for the Australian War Memorial (AWM), the RAAF National Memorial on Anzac Parade or the Canberra Garden of Remembrance. However, it does offer an alternative location for commemorative ceremonies and for the installation of plaques that do not meet the eligibility criteria for mounting at the AWM or the ACT Garden of Remembrance. Such plaques include those dedicated to groups, units or members of the RAAF, ex-AFC, ex-RAAF, ex-WAAAF, ex-WRAAF, RAAF Assn, ex-RAAF Assn or similar persons or groups.

Organisations, units, squadrons, groups or events that qualify for commemoration elsewhere may also be commemorated in the RAAF Memorial Grove.

 

The Memorial Cairn

Memorial Grove Cairn

The Memorial Cairn is the focus of the RAAF Memorial Grove and was established to:

"Honour all Persons who are serving in the RAAF or Who Have Served in the AFC, RAAF, WAAAF or WRAAF"

The Cairn was designed, funded and built by the members of the then ACT Branch of the NSW Division of the RAAF Association, now the ACT Division of the RAAF Association. To ensure that developments do not detract from the original intention and purpose of the Memorial Cairn, the RAAF Association (ACT Division) is the principal approval authority for memorial change proposals. The NCA acknowledges that the Memorial Cairn is owned by the RAAF Association but requests to be informed of any proposed changes as the cairn is listed in the NCA Register of National Memorials.

Categories of Plaques

Three categories of commemorative plaques qualify for installation in the Grove:

Memorial Cairn Plaques

The existing marble dedication plaque mounted on the Memorial Cairn is part of the original design and was installed by the then Canberra Branch of the NSW Division of the RAAF Association.

Plaques proposed for mounting on the cairn must complement and accord strictly with the intention, ie, the original dedication plaque, future re-dedication or identification plaques or plaques proclaiming ownership of the cairn or acknowledging events of historical significance.

Group Plaques

Group plaques are those that commemorate RAAF Association groups, AFC, RAAF, ex-RAAF, WAAAF, WRAAF, Squadrons, Units, groups or similar organisations. Plaques may also be installed to mark events/reunions of historical significance involving any of these groups or organisations.

Individual Plaques

Individual plaques commemorate individuals who were serving AFC, RAAF, WAAAF or WRAAF members at the time of death as well as ex-members of the AFC, RAAF, WAAAF or WRAAF and members/ex-members of the RAAF Association.

Group Plaques

Group plaques are normally of two sizes:

  • Large Plaques - made of polished granite or other agreed material, 51cm x 36cm in size, normally mounted on a stone plinth which is offset or setback from the circular surround wall to the lookout, the Upper Memorial Walk, Lower Memorial Walk or the Return Path to the front entrance to the Grove.
  • Medium Plaques - made of polished granite or other agreed material, 30cm x 21cm, normally mounted on the designated stone/concrete memorial wall.

In special circumstances the Division may approve installation of sandstone benches for mounting of group plaques.

Small and Individual Plaques

Small or Individual Plaques, made from cast bronze, 20cm x 16cm in size with raised lettering/inscription, are normally mounted on the memorial wall or on a concrete plinth located at the base of tree within the Memorial Grove. Dimensions of the mounting block are shown at Annex G.

Approval Process

A group or a private individual (the Sponsor), who wishes to place a plaque in the Memorial Grove must submit a written proposal to the Director, Commemoration and Honours of the ACT Division. A copy of the Proposal Form is available above.

2