Diggers Memorial

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The Diggers Memorial

Most of the diggers were buried immediately after the Eureka battle in a common grave in the Ballaarat Old Cemetery. Alpheus Boynton, a Geelong carter, described the funeral procession, one of the largest seen for its time, which wound its way passed the soldiers’ Camp and proceeded to the cemetery. He wrote that ‘a number of dray loads of dead bodies were taken to the burying ground about a mile on Sunday. Many have died since of their wounds both diggers and soldiers. We were on our way to Ballarat and met coffins, and men with broken limbs returning to Geelong’. A government officer from the camp recorded that ‘the dead were buried the same day in the cemetery. The bodies of the insurgents, placed in rough coffins made hurriedly, were laid in a separate grave, the burial service being performed by the clergyman to whose congregation they belonged’. On 4 December ‘the funerals of several of those who fell at the Stockade and were removed by their friends, took place today. They were attended by several hundred men, who marched three abreast up the Main Road and past the Camp, during which the garrison was under arms’. The grave at the Ballarat Old Cemetery was, presumedly, marked, but on 22 March 1856 a Monument, known as the Diggers’ Monument, was unveiled on the spot. James Leggatt, a sculptor from Geelong, donated it and the monument was described at the time as being ‘the finest workmanship of the kind seen in the colony’. It was a grey sandstone obelisk, surmounted by a draped urn, and resting on a bluestone plinth. It has the inscription: ‘Sacred to the memory of those who fell on the memorable 3rd December 1854 in resisting the unconstitutional proceedings of the Victorian Government. This monument was presented by James Leggatt, Geelong, to the people of Ballarat and by them erected on the 22nd March 1856’. It is 3.3 metres high and with a 1-metre width at its base. A cast iron fence on a bluestone plinth was erected on 15 Oct 1872. Although the name of Thaddeus Moore appears on the Eureka monument he was buried in Geelong on 4 December 1854. According to Ian McFarlane three men, Moore, Gittings and Hynes were buried in Geelong. [1]


  1. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.