Last glimpse of home on way to war
In late 1914, more than 40,000 Australians and New Zealanders left King George Sound, bound for the Great War. One-third never returned. Many who did bore the scars of their experiences for the rest of their lives. This is their story.
The inscription, which can be read by visitors to the National Anzac Centre at Albany, neatly sums up why Albany played, and continues to play, a key role in Australia’s World War I story.
And it is a story which has drawn more than 260,000 visitors to the centre in the four years since it was opened at the start of the Anzac centenary commemorations.
Ships that carried Australian and New Zealand troops to World War I gathered at Albany in late 1914 and left for Egypt, and ultimately Gallipoli, on November 1, 1914.
For many of those men the rugged shore of Albany was their last glimpse of their homeland.
The NAC sits in the Albany Heritage Park on the edge of Mt Adelaide, and its cutting-edge museum technology is set against the spectacular view over the waters which saw the gathering of the convoy.
The centre, which has received a number of awards since its opening, has cemented Albany’s place in the Anzac narrative.
Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said visitor numbers remained strong and the centre played a major role in attracting tourists, which had spin-off benefits for the economy of the region.
City of Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington at the National Anzac Centre.