Rodney Pople

Gouldburn War Memorial at 3am

Oil on linen

180 x 140cm

Rodney Pople_Gouldburn War Memorial at 3am

The Goulburn War Memorial is a rough stone monument built in the 1920s on the apex of

Rocky Hill in east Goulburn, NSW.

The Goulburn Evening Penny Post reported after the opening of Rocky Hill that: “… it was

now generally admitted that this was the finest memorial in Australia. The architect, Mr EC

Manfred, had designed a tower which, rough and rugged in its beauty, conformed to the

surrounding hill whereon it stood and which reminded them of the sturdy bravery of our

illustrious soldiers”.

Perched high above the township of Goulburn, this symbol of war and remembrance can be

seen from miles around. It is particularly spectacular at night, when the light beam arcs like

a lighthouse, or an eerie searchlight on a battle field. It is a powerfully silent and immortal

tribute in light to the fallen soldiers of Gallipoli and the Great War.

I witnessed the lit Memorial firsthand recently, when I was out walking my dog late one

night in east Goulburn. It had an unexpected, almost visceral impact on me.

Perhaps because my sons are of an age that a hundred years ago would have seen them

sent off to war, the Memorial resonated with me across time: a flash of recognition – and of

remembrance – passed between us.