Macleay soil to be used for Sydney Anzac memorial centenary project

Residents are being encouraged to register to collect soil in key locations in the Macleay Valley as part of the Anzac Memorial Centenary Project.

The project’s Soil Collection Program is asking local schools, groups and individuals to collect soil from towns, suburbs and localities in the Shire that First World War enlistees gave as their place of address.

Local collection sites include; Barraganyatti, Bellbrook, Bellimbopinni, Clybucca, Comara, Deep Creek, East Kempsey, Frederickton, Gladstone, Kempsey, Kinchela Creek, Sherwood, Smithtown, South West Rocks, Summer Island, Toorooka, West Kempsey, Willawarrin and Trial Bay Gaol.

There will be close to 1,700 soil samples collected from locations across the state over the coming months. NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs, David Elliott, said the collected samples will become part of a new artwork in the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney in 2018, which will see the soil samples displayed alongside a plaque for each area.

“The Anzac Memorial is NSW’s principal Memorial to all Australians who have served, and collecting soil from sites from where men and women across NSW came from reminds us that this Memorial belongs to everyone,” he said.

“Each sample of soil will be placed in the Hall of Service with the name of the town next to it for future generations to realise the enormity of our state’s sacrifice and that this service continues today.”

Memorial visitors will be able to view information on each listed location via digital devices, including the details and date of when the soil was collected, the names of every enlistee who gave that location as their home address, and maps showing the local area and its surrounding memorials and schools.

Those interested in being part of the project can view an interactive map to find the key locations and register online via the Anzac Memorial website.

To view the map and to register go to: centenary-project/soil-collection-program or for more information call the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs (02) 8061 9288.

Surveyor-general Narelle Underwood collecting Soil in Orange, NSW earlier this year.

Surveyor-general Narelle Underwood collecting Soil in Orange, NSW earlier this year.