Victory Memorial Gardens
Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
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The Australia Remembers commemorative plaque for the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII.

The National Servicemen, Commonwealth Military Forces and Reserve Forces Monument. Prior to WWII the Australian armed services were drawn from volunteers. With the threat of war in the Pacific, and with the elite of the defence forces serving in Middle East and Mediterranean, the government of the day introduced conscription to bolster the home defences. These were the CMF and who by legislation were only to serve within Australia and its territories. 

For this reason members of the regular army, the AIF (Australian Imperial Force), often referred to the CMF as Koalas or Choco Soldiers.  Koalas were not to be exported or shot at (a protected species) and the Chocos (Chocolate soldiers) were expected to melt when things got too hot. The memorial goes some way to recognising the contribution and achievements of the CMF during WWII as it was they who largely inflicted the first defeat on land of the seemingly invincible Japanese at Milne Bay and later on the Kokoda Trail until reinforced by elements of the AIF. Conscription was later reintroduced as National Service and many of these conscripts served during the Vietnam War.

The plaque atop of the monument.

The National Servicemen's Monument dedication plaque.
(All photos and text courtesy of Peter F. Williams)
© 2010 Peter F. Williams all rights reserved

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Page published Apr. 22, 2013