The beautiful Victory Memorial Gardens are a fitting place to remember those who served our country. The establishment of the garden and the erection of the Memorial Arch, which lists over 1000 names of soldiers who served, was largely due to the enthusiasm and persistence of Terence Byrnes, a former Mayor of Wagga Wagga, who had served in France as part of an Artillery Brigade.
Designed in the 1920s by Thomas Kerr, Chief Landscape Gardener of Sydney’s Botanic Gardens, the Victory Memorial Gardens reflect the respect residents have for the military, and acknowledge the long association the defence forces have had with the city through the Army Recruit Training Centre (Kapooka) and RAAF Base Wagga Wagga. The original plan of the Victory Memorial Gardens is to be seen in the Museum of the Riverina.
A tree planted in the Victory Memorial Gardens on 24th January 1984 honours the 100th birthday of Wagga Wagga born Field Marshall Sir Thomas Albert Blamey, GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO, ED; the only Australian to date to attain the rank of Field Marshall.
Also, a small tree and flowerbed was planted in the Victory Memorial Gardens by the then Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier) K.P.Outridge, Commanding Officer of Kapooka, together with Group Captain N.F. Lamb, Officer Commanding RAAF Forest Hill, on 24th February 1965 in honour of the late Sir Winston Churchill who had passed away the month before.
Throughout the parklands are many other memorials and a path lined with Poplar trees know as Anzac avenue.
The Eternal Flame beneath the Main Memorial Arch, projects a larger flare during the day, dimming to a pleasant glow at night. The Eternal Flame was built to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the landing of Australian soldiers at Gallipoli and to honour the men and women who had served and are currently serving in other campaigns.
The Cenotaph, designed by Messrs Pitt & Morrow of Wagga Wagga and unveiled by Brigadier-General Thomas Blamey on 17th Sept. 1922 contains the names of local soldiers who were killed.