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Geraldton City RSL

1 week 5 days ago

Geraldton City RSL shared Military Shop's post.

An important piece of Australia’s military history will find a new home after the Vietnamese Government gifted the original Long Tan Cross to Australia. Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick received the Long Tan Cross from the Dong Nai Province People’s Committee at a small ceremony at the Dong Nai Museum in Biên Hòa last month. An Australian Defence Force member then travelled with the cross on its journey to Australia.

The Long Tan Cross was erected by Australian soldiers as a memorial to their fellow diggers who fought and died at the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966, Australia’s most costly single engagement in the Vietnam War. It was removed from the Long Tan battle site some time after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Approximately 60,000 Australian men and women served in the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1975, including 521 who lost their lives and more than 3,000 who were wounded.

The Long Tan Cross will go on display at its new permanent home at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra from 6 December.

Birdwood House 2015A number of wounded soldiers who returned to Geraldton after the Dardanelles Campaign (Gallipoli) gathered in Geraldton on 25 April 1917 to form a branch of the Returned Soldiers Association. The next year they organised Geraldton’s first ANZAC Day service.

Between 1917 and 1935 the RSL headquarters was in Marine Terrace. Originally known as the Soldiers’ Institute, then the Esplanade Hotel and the Ocean View Guest House. This building was later demolished but planning had already begun to make available land in Chapman Road.

Funds from local business and citizens enabled the Birdwood House to be built, with the Memorial Obelisk unveiled by then Lt. Governor Sir James Mitchell, GCMG, on 1 September 1935. Two years later, Field Marshall Sir William Birdwood, who commanded the ANZAC Corps at Gallipoli and after whom the building was named, visited and was presented with a gold key and Freedom of Birdwood House.

Field Marshall Sir William Birdwood with R.S.L. Committee, Birdwood House Geraldton, August 27th 1937.

Today, the building is headquarters of the Geraldton RSL and is used by several community groups for meetings and social activities.

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Phone: 9964 1520. Fax: 9964 1522. Email
Postal: PO Box 1243 Geraldton 6530.
Address: 46 Chapman Road, Geraldton.