Seaham Knitting Circle Memorial


Author: Alan Earle

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The Seaham Knitting Circle Memorial is perhaps one of the few memorials in Australia that was established and dedicated to the memory of WWI soldiers, entirely by the women of the local community.

In October 1914 the Seaham (NSW) branch of the Australian Red Cross was established. Mrs JW Boag was president and Mrs Bert Adams was the Secretary. From the beginning the group were known as the Knitting Circle as they were prolific knitters and sent numerous articles to Australian troops on the western front.

At the conclusion of WWI, the people of Seaham welcomed back their sons and morned those lost. They installed a memorial tablet in the Presbyterian Church followed by the unveiling of the memorial gates at the School of Arts hall in May 1921. The church has long gone however the gates and hall remain.

The Knitting Circle members met and agreed to erect a memorial flag pole on the eastern side of the Williams river as that other side already had two memorials - no bridge in those days only a punt to get across! In the latter part of 1921, the flag pole was erected on a piece of land donated by the Boag family whose residence "Burnbrae" stood behind the memorial.

In December 1921 the Seaham Knitting Circle was disbanded.

In 1996 members of the Raymond Terrace RSL Sub-Branch in conjunction with Port Stephens Council, engaged in considerable restoration work of the flag pole and surrounds. Annual ANZAC Day services have been conducted at the memorial ever since. On average over 300 attend from the local community. Members of RAAF Units at Williamtown provide the Catafalque Party.

Written by Alan Earle using a story by Moira Saunderson of the Raymond Terrace Historical Society

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