World War I Memorials in the Barossa: Markers of Identity Shift and Dissonance. [abstract].
Leader-Elliott, Lynette Frances
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In South Australia’s Barossa Valley, war memorials link regional identity and national politics as well as commemorating the dead. Settled by German Lutherans in the 1840s, the Barossa today is a close knit regional community, with a publicly projected image of a distinctively Australian region with German and English antecedents. But the history of the region has not always been one of cross-community harmony, and on closer examination there have been periods of significant disharmony, especially around the two World Wars of the twentieth century. The war memorials are now seen as reflections of the whole community’s commitment to fighting for Australia and the British Empire, but at the time they were erected they represented complex social and political agendas of citizenship and loyalty, acceptance and suspicion.