Wagga Wagga War Cemetery
Kooringal Road
Wagga Wagga


Online Data


During the Second World War 1939-1945, the No. 2 Service Flight Training School of the Royal Australian Air Force and other military training facilities including the Army School of Military Engineering were based at Wagga Wagga.

The Wagga Wagga War Cemetery contains 82 War Burials, comprising 40 Australian Army and 42 RAAF Airmen and 1 post-war grave. Many of the RAAF Aircrew died in air training accidents, while 26 members of the School of Military Engineering buried here perished on the same day in a mine training accident. Buried in Wagga Wagga General Cemetery are 12 Australian Army and 21 RAAF along with 3 Australian casualties from the First World War.

May 24 1945, has been described as the saddest day in Wagga Wagga's history. It's the day when 26 soldiers, some of whom had survived battle in the Middle East and the Pacific and some of whom were teenagers early into their military training, were laid to res in the city's war cemetery. The men were killed when an estimated 50 kilograms of explosives detonated in an earthen dug-out during a training exercise three days earlier. The tragedy shocked the nation, coming as it did after the end of the hostilities in Europe and with the end of the Pacific war in sight. And no-one expected such shocking loss of life in a non-combat area. The cause of the disaster is still not known today.  The only survivor, Allan Bartlett, recalls nothing of the blast itself and the area was so devastated it left no clues for the inquiry that followed. Wagga Wagga came to a half for the mass funeral at the Wagga Wagga War Cemetery, within the monumental cemetery along Kooringal Road. Council offices and business houses closed, an estimated 7,000 people lined Edward Street while the cortege passed by, four semi-trailers carried the 26 coffins, other trucks carried countless flower arrangements and scores of citizens loaned their cars for the transport of grieving families. The funeral was also attended by some of the leading military figures of the time, including the General Officer Commanding the Second Australian Army, Major-General AW Lloyd.


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For information on interments in this Cemetery Contact

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website


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These pages were produced by P.Applebee ©2007