Desert Corps Memorial
The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial on Mount Clarence is a 9-metre bronze statue commemorating Australian and New Zealand troops who died during World War I.
The idea for a memorial was suggested as early as 1916 by Australian and New Zealand soldiers based in Egypt, with the soldiers themselves raising 5,400 pounds for its construction. The Commonwealth provided a further 11,600 pounds and offered a 250 guinea prize for a suitable design.
Work began in 1923 but progressed slowly. On November 23, 1932, the finished statue was unveiled at Port Said in Egypt, at the entrance to the Suez Canal.
On December 26, 1956, Egyptians, unhappy with British control of the Canal, tore the statue down, smashing it with rocks and hammers, damaging it beyond repair.
The Australian and new Zealand governments requested the remains of the monument to be returned to Australia, where a replacement would be built.
The Australian and New Zealand RSL chose Albany as the new location as it was the gathering point for the ANZAC convoy that took the troops to Egypt.
The new statue, on the original granite base, was unveiled on October 11, 1964, by Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies.
A copy of this monument also stands in Canberra, unveiled on August 19, 1968.
Today the Desert Corps Memorial is the focal point of the annual ANZAC dawn service, in memory of those lost during times of war. Bullet marks from the 1956 uprising are still visible on the granite base.
The Desert Corps Memorial is adjacent to the Padre White Lookout, offering spectacular views over King George Sound, and is part of the Albany Heritage Park Precinct.
Article updated 15/10/2015.