2/16 Battalion Memorial

2/16 Battalion Memorial, Kings Park, public art

Public Art : 2/16 Battalion Memorial

Designed by: ©

Description: The 2/16 Battalion Memorial  honours the men who fought in Syria, New Guinea and Borneo during World War II.

Date Unveiled: The 2/16 Battalion Memorial was originally dedicated by the Very Reverend Monsignor C.W. Cunningham on the 29th of March , 1981 but was later relocated and re-dedicated on the 29th of November, 2000, by Chaplain Major Keith Wheeler.

Location: The 2/16 Battalion Memorial is located along Fraser Avenue on the right hand side as you enter Kings Park from Kings Park Road, West Perth, Western Australia.


Background of the 2/16 Battalion:

The 2/16th Battalion was formed in Perth, Western Australia, on the 20th of  April 1940 and held its basic training at Northam Camp.

Many of the men in the original recruits came from the Western Australian goldfields giving the battalion a "hard and rough" image.

The battalion left Fremantle on the 25th of October to complete its training in Palestine.

As part of the 21st Brigade of the 7th Australian Division, the 2/16th’s first operational assignment of war was to bolster the defences along the Egypt-Libya frontier against an expected German attack. Following this they returned to Palestine in preparation for their first  offensive operation - the invasion of Syria and Lebanon.

This campaign did not end well with the 2/16th suffering the most casualties (264) of any of the Australian battalions involved.

On the 30th of January 1942 the battalion left Egypt and returned to Australia for a brief stay before heading to Papua to fight the Japanese at Abuari on the Kokoda Trail. During this time the 2/16th amalgamated with the 2/14th to form a composite battalion having suffered heavily at Mission Ridge on 8th September.

In January 1943 the battalion returned to Australia for over 6 months before returning to Papua.
Its greatest achievement, and only major attack, during these operations was the capture of Shaggy Ridge between 27 and 28 December. In March 1944 the battalion once agian returned to Australia.

The battalions  last operation of the war was at Balikpapan in 1945. The 2/16th sailed home for the last time on 2nd February 1946 and was disbanded in Brisbane later that month.

The 2/16th Battalion received 21 battle and theatre honours: North Africa, Syria 1941, Syrian Frontier, The Litani, Wadi Zeini, Damour, South-West Pacific 1942–1945, Kokoda Trail, Isurava, Eora Creek–Templeton's Crossing I, Efogi–Menari, Ioribaiwa, Buna–Gona, Gona, Amboga River, Lae–Nadzab, Liberation of Australian New Guinea, Ramu Valley, Shaggy Ridge, Borneo 1945, Balikpapan.

References: http://www.2nd16thassoc.com.au/


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