Somewhere I read that the war cemetery in Adelaide River is Australia’s only war cemetery. I’m not sure if that’s accurate, it’s certainly not the only place that military are buried but maybe it’s the only one dedicated solely to the military? Whether it is the only one or not, we knew this was one to visit. The town’s population swelled after the initial bombing in Darwin during WWII as people fled the coast and many of the injured were brought here. We stopped in the morning we left the town of Adelaide River to head south toward Katherine. It was a hot, hot day so our visit had to be a quick one. The lawn and gardens are impeccably maintained. They were even working on them on that hot day we visited. There’s a small informal museum outside the cemetery which tells the stories of many of the people buried here. Altogether there are 434 war graves here. It didn’t take long for the kids to find flowers to place on the headstones. These beautiful white flowers are from the frangipani tree and are found all over the Top End. The kids were collecting them off the ground and placing them on graves all over the cemetery. I felt a little bad that someone would have to collect and remove them but I loved the sentiment from the kids all the same. Every grave should have flowers, every life should be remembered. They did the same at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, collecting poppies off the ground and placing them next to names on the wall. ‘His Duty Fearlessly and Nobly Done, Ever Remembered.’ ‘Resting Where No Shadows Fall.’ ‘Duty Nobly Done.’ I love this picture that LadyBug took. This is the Memorial to the Missing which lists 292 names of servicemen and women lost to the north of Australia who have no known grave. There is a civil section adjacent to the war cemetery. Here you find the graves of the nine post office workers who were killed in the initial bombing of Darwin by Japan on 19 February 1942. We’d learned of these deaths during our visit to Darwin, it’s mentioned often in war stories since they were civilians and all were killed together that day. On the way out LadyBug happened to spy a cicada shell sticking to this post. I don’t know how she could see it amongst all the coloured rocks. TurboBug insisted on putting it back where we found it and to my surprise it was still sticky enough to stay there. On a lighter note, we also stopped into the local pub for a picture with Charlie, the water buffalo from the movie Crocodile Dundee. Remember when Mick Dundee hypnotises him in the movie? Charlie was a local celebrity and now stands proud in the local inn. My kids haven’t seen the movie yet so were a little underwhelmed but they humoured us and enjoyed seeing how big he was. If they’d had a copy of the movie I might have purchased a copy, it’s one of those movies that you have to see if you live in Australia. I remember going to see it in the theatre with my parents and absolutely loving it. I just looked it up and next year will be the 30th anniversary of the movie, I’m sure it will be easy to find a copy then. 🙂
Adelaide River War Cemetery
posted in: Northern Territory
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[…] visiting the war cemetery and saying a quick hello to Charlie the Water Buffalo we hopped in the car and headed toward Katherine. We had spent several nights in Katherine on […]