The Pool of Reflection

The Pool of Reflection is a peaceful space where passersby may pause for a moment of quiet contemplation. A row of poplar trees were planted along the eastern and western sides of the pool, 28 trees in all. They are maintained to give the pool a European feel. For many veterans the still waters of the Pool of Reflection flanked by poplars evoked memories of the Somme River and its accompanying canals in France. The AIF fought some of its bloodiest battles in the Somme Valley in 1916, 1917 and 1918.

Funding for the construction of the Anzac Memorial was adversley affected by the Great Depression in the early 1930s. The building was completed through public subscription and the Pool of Reflection finished with the assistance of Unemployment Relief Funds. A second water feature had been designed by the architect, a cascading water feature on the southern side of the Anzac Memorial. The project ran out of money before the entire precinct could become a reality. The cascade was not built.

On this day
23 February

1942 — Australian troops fought valiantly after the Japanese invasion of Timor but were overwhelmed and the main force of  Australians surrendered. Those who remained continued to wage a guerrilla war for the next year

1956 — 1 Squadron RAAF bombed communist camps near Kuala Lumpur during the Malayan Emergency

1967 — MAJ P. BADCOE led an attack against Viet Cong forces in Vietnam. It was the first of three acts of bravery for which he was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross. He was also awarded a US Silver Star and a South Vietnam Cross of Gallantry

2000 — International Force for East Timor (INTERFET), commanded by LT GEN Cosgrove, officially handed military command of East Timor to the UNTAET