Australian Memorial Park Bullecourt

Digger Memorial, Bullecourt

Dedication & Unveiling

The Digger Memorial at Bullecourt.
Digger Memorial, Bullecourt.

The Australian Memorial Park Bullecourt was inaugurated on 25 April in 1992. The statue of the ‘Digger’ was unveiled during the ANZAC Day ceremonies at the Memorial Park the following year in 1993.

‘Digger’ Sculpture

The Digger Sculpture
Digger Memorial, Bullecourt

The bronze figure of the Australian Digger was designed and sculpted by Peter Corlett in Melbourne, Australia.

A Memorial Plaque

A plaque on the stone base of the memorial, on which the Digger is standing, is inscribed in English and French:

“Sacred to the memory of the 10,000 members of the Australian Imperial Force who were killed or wounded in the two battles of Bullecourt, April-May 1917, and to the Australian dead and their comrades-in-arms who lie here forever in the soil of France. 'Lest we Forget'.

This monument was dedicated on ANZAC Day 25 April 1992 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the two Battles of Bullecourt April - May 1917.”

Memorial Plaque

Australian Memorial Park, Bullecourt.
Digger Memorial, Bullecourt

A plaque gives an inscription in English and French. The English inscription reads as follows:

“The Bullecourt Digger is the work of Peter Corlett and Meriden Sculpture Foundry of Melbourne. It was commissioned by the Office of Australian War Graves in August 1992. Flown to the United Kingdrom by the Royal Australian Air Force and placed on the AIF Memorial at Bullecourt by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (France Office). It was unveiled on ANZAC Day 25 April 1993 by His Excellency Mr. Kim Jones Australian Ambassador to France and M. Jean Letaille Mayor of Bullecourt.

The sculpture portrays an Australian soldier wearing the uniform and equipment carried by the AIF at the Battles of Bullecourt. While the sculpture is otherwise authentic in detail, the figure bears the colour-patch insignia of all four Australian infantry divisions (First, Second, Fourth and Fifth) that were present at either First Bullecourt 10-11 April 1917, or Second Bullecourt 5-17 May 1917.

Reflecting the characteristics for which the Australian soldier of the First World War was best known, the Bullecourt Digger is sturdy, arcadian, audacious and resolute. Importantly, as well, the sculpture expresses the hope that the deeds of Australians at Bullecourt in April/May 1917 would be of enduring relevance and inspiration to this and future generations.”

Memorial Plaque by Dr Ross J Bastiaan

Bronze Memorial Plaque by Dr Ross Bastiaan at the Australian Memorial Park Bullecourt.
Memorial Plaque by Dr Ross Bastiaan

Dr Ross Bastiaan is a Colonel in the Australian Army Reserve. He is a practising periodontist in Melbourne, Victoria. More than 140 bronze relief plaques have been placed worldwide by Dr Bastiaan at sites of action where Australian Forces have been involved.

The Australian Memorial Park Bullecourt has one of Dr Bastiaan's memorial plaques.

Bullecourt Memorial Park Location

Latitude N 50° 11' 40.91" ; Longitude E 2° 56' 17.56"

Related Topic

Cobbers Memorial at Australian Memorial Park Fromelles.
Cobbers Memorial, Fromelles

See the memorial park and statue to commemorate the Australian forces at the Battle of Fromelles on 19-20 July 2016.

Australian Memorial Park Fromelles

Related Link

The Australian Remembrance Trail: France and Belgium

Australian visitors may be interested to see a website established by the Australian Government which provides information about the major sites to visit in France and Belgium where the Australian forces fought and where they are commemorated.

Website: www.ww1westernfront.gov.au Australian Remembrance Trail