Soldiers return home to Albany for centenary of Armistice image

21 September 2018

Two soldiers who sailed from Albany aboard a troopship in November 2014 for the centenary of the departure of Anzacs from King George Sound have returned home in time to be part of events remembering the end of the Great War.

Sculptor Tony Pankiw drew inspiration from images of World War I soldiers marching along Stirling Terrace in Albany for his work “Marching Soldiers”, which he has affectionately named Alfred and Garath in tribute to the passage the Anzacs took from Albany to Gallipoli.

Mr Pankiw created the sculpture for the 2014 commemorations and has loaned them to Albany to stand in place at the corner of Stirling Terrace and York Street for the centenary of Armistice.

“I wanted to send them back home for the 2018 commemorations – they have come home after the war, alive and well,” he said. “I wanted to return them to the place the Anzacs left in 1914 and thought having the two soldiers in Albany again at this special time would be very complementary to the City’s events.”

The aluminium soldiers, which are different sizes and dimensions for individuality, are stylised to reflect the look of Anzacs in a marching pose with their slouch hat and the standard issue rifles with bayonets attached.

City of Albany’s Executive Director Community Services Susan Kay said it was a wonderful gesture by Mr Pankiw to return his sculpture to Albany for the commemorative events.

“The sculpture is a visual reminder of this very important period in our history and its placement at the York Street entry to Stirling Terrace is very poignant as this was where thousands of soldiers are pictured marching in 1914 before they left for war,” Mrs Kay said.

“The soldiers will also be a very fitting entry statement to our community celebration on Stirling Terrace on November 11 to remember the end of the war and celebrate that moment 100 years ago when Armistice was declared.”

“Marching Soldiers” sculpture will remain in Albany until April 2019, the same duration as Field of Light: Avenue of Honour, which opens on October 4 and will pay homage to the Anzacs until Anzac Day next year.

Anzac Albany 2018 has been made possible with the support of the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, Tourism WA, Lotterywest, FORM and the City of Albany.

For more information on Anzac Albany programming for November 11, 2018 visit www.anzacalbany.com.au