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9th Division memorial in El Alamein re-born.

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Minister for Veterans' Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence

Sunday 23 October 2005 VA163


A memorial to the 9th Australian Division is being rebuilt in Egypt by the Australian Government, Veterans’ Affairs Minister De-Anne Kelly announced today.

On the 63rd anniversary of the historic second Battle of El Alamein today, Mrs Kelly said the finishing touches were being made to the new $360,000 memorial.

Mrs Kelly said El Alamein was one of the great battles of World War II, marking the turning point in the Allied campaign in the deserts of North Africa and, arguably, the course of the war in Europe.

"The Australian 9th Division was at the heart of the battles at El Alamein between July and November 1942 and paid a high price, with 620 Australians killed, 1944 wounded and 130 taken prisoner," she said.

"The 9th Division Memorial was built at the El Alamein War Cemetery west of Alexandria in 1989 to remember the role of the 9th Division in all the North Africa campaigns of World War II."

Mrs Kelly said time and desert winds eroded the stone of the memorial and, following extensive consultation with the 9th Division Association and engineering reports on the memorial, the Australian Government decided to demolish and re-build the memorial in April 2005.

"Work is now almost complete on the new $360 000 memorial, which retains the original design and plaques, but is built on a raised platform and from Egyptian Galala stone," she said.

"Access to the memorial will also be improved, with a new gravel path to be built from the adjacent El Alamein War Cemetery.

"It is fitting that the 9th Division Memorial will be restored to its former glory and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to ensure that the service and the sacrifice of the 9th Division is remembered well into the future."

The 9th Division Memorial will be re-dedicated in the first half of 2006.

Media note: Images of the re-built 9th Division Memorial are available on the DVA website:

Media contact: Craig Clarke 0417 889 423

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