The Hyde Park ANZAC Memorial – Soil Sample from Riverstone

by Rosemary Phillis

As part of the Centenary of ANZAC, the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park in Sydney has been upgraded and extended. Part of the project incorporates an artwork by Fiona Hall in an area known as the Hall of Service.

“The eight walls of the Hall of Service display soil samples from 1,701 NSW towns, cities and districts given as a place of address by First World War enlistees.” 1

Riverstone was one of the towns chosen to be included in the artwork. In 2017 input was sought from the Riverstone and District Historical Society Inc for potential sites where a soil sample could be taken.

The Museum site was selected from our suggestions. It was an appropriate choice, as during the First World War it was the Riverstone Public School and was attended by many of the local servicemen.

On Friday 2 February 2018 Joseph Cosentino from Spatial Services Department of Finance, Services & Innovation came to collect the soil sample from Riverstone. He had already taken samples from other sites in the area including the Hawkesbury Showground and Box Hill.

If you are in Sydney after 11 November 2018, why not take the time to visit the ANZAC Memorial at Hyde Park? You can look for the soil sample from Riverstone on the wall in the Hall of Service.


The Museum building when in use as the Riverstone Public School. The photo was taken in 1919 when peace medals were being handed out to the students. The pupils on the left would be standing just in front of the site where the soil sample was taken from. Photo: Davis Family
Rosemary Phillis and Graham Britton holding the soil sample. Photo: Joseph Cosentino
Soil sample hole in the Museum grounds. Photo: Joseph Cosentino