Two Men Lead a Petition to Keep WWI Memorial in its Location

Tony Mudge and Pat Wilson are taking a stand against the relocation of the Blackwood Soldiers Memorial as part of a plan to improve traffic flow at Blackwood’s notorious roundabout. Picture Keryn Stevens Source: News Limited

PAT Wilson and Tony Mudge have decided to take a stand against the relocation of the Blackwood War Memorial in order to ease traffic congestion at the circle.

Moving the memorial which has been at the corner of Main Road and Coromandel Parade for nearly a century, has been suggested as a major reconstruction of the roadway.

Wilson, a resident of Blackwood, and Mudge, a resident of Hawthorndene, have been actively rallying against the relocation. They say the statue has been “commanding” the position in front of the Blackwood Uniting Church.

Last year, the gentlemen organized a petition signing that garnered 2324 supporters. Wilson said the memorial was built in the 1920s to commemorate the First World War, but it also serves as a memorial for every war. They believe the memorial shouldn’t be “hidden.”

Wilson goes on to say the memorial needs to stay at the circle because it is a reminder to everyone who has lost their life in any war, and it needs to stay in the public eye.

The men wrote to the Transport Department and called for them to reconsider the recommendation for the removal of the War Memorial because of the claim it causes accidents and will reduce the traffic congestion. The original plans issued did not state where the monument should be relocated.

In their petition, the gentlemen wrote that it would be “adverse to community wishes” if the monument were moved to a side street and hidden from commuters who travel the route daily.

The Herald Sun reported Mudge felt the department was ignoring the residents request to keep the monument in place.

The Transport Department report is exploring options of enlarging and shifting the circle to the southeast. This plan would cause the department to purchase land on the corner where the monument stands.

The gentlemen agreed the circle should be moved, but not onto the spot where the memorial stands.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE