History of the Memorial

The Anzac Memorial was created by the people of New South Wales as a place to remember the impact of the Great War (1914 – 1918). Although the Memorial did not open until 1934 the need for the Memorial was recognised as soon as the casualty figures from the 1915 Gallipoli campaign became public knowledge. Planning for a Memorial of some kind began with the establishment of a fund on the first anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1916.

On this day

On this day
16 February

1942— BANKA ISLAND MASSACRE. Following the sinking of the SS Vyner Brook, many of the survivors, including 22 Australian nurses, reached the shore of Banka Island. Realising that their position was desperate, an officer from the ship set out with most of the women and children to surrender the group to the Japanese. The officer returned with 20 Japanese soldiers who ordered all the men capable of walking to move to hidden part of the beach and killed them. They then returned to the beach and ordered the 22 nurses and 1 British civilian woman to walk into the water. They were machine-gunned in the back. All the immobile survivors were then killed. Sister Vivian Bullwinkle pretended to be dead and was the only survivor