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16 June, 2021

Disgraceful act of Vandalism

IN a repeated act, Mareeba’s cenotaph was once again subject to vandalism with the culprits using pens to tag themselves.

WARNING: OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE DISPLAYED – The cenotaph in Mareeba has been once again vandalised, with locals sick of seeing it


IN a repeated act, Mareeba’s cenotaph was once again subject to vandalism with the culprits using pens to tag themselves.

The sad events have left many members of the community shocked and angered as this is not the first time these people have striked. 

The vandalism covered the majority of the south side of the cenotaph, with the names of the fallen being scribbled on and the bottom step covered in inappropriate language. 

Elwyn Troughton has spent the majority of her time studying and learning about the fallen, writing multiple books about life during the war. 

She said that she was disgusted by the disrespectful actions on what she described as sacred grounds. 

“ANZAC Park is the only acknowledgement for the lads who gave their lives in defense of this country and most of them do not have graves,” she said. 

“What wasn’t lost in Gallipoli was lost on the Western front and we have had a lot of people on that cenotaph who have won awards for their service. 

“When you desecrate the memorial, it is like getting loose in a cemetery and smashing up peoples headstones.” 

Ms Troughton explained to The Express that although not every man on the cenotaph was Mareeba born and raised, they fought in circumstances that she believes the vandals will never understand.

“Most men who did come home suffered horribly with wounds, shell shock and some even committed suicide,” she said. 

“It is the lack of respect from this riff raff to the men who fought that makes me mad, especially when it took so long to erect the cenotaph.” 

Her grandfather was one of many who helped donate money to erect the cenotaph where it is today, as Mareeba’s only memorial of its late soldiers. 

“There has to be some control in our town, they are committing crimes in broad daylight like this,” she said. 

“Things like this are happening every couple of days, there was even an incident on ANZAC Day where a chap from the prison caught them ripping up the wreaths at the cenotaph.” 

Ms Troughton said that she wants to see the cenotaph more protected for the sake of those who fought for us in war. 

Ms Troughton had a strong message for the vandals. 

“You wouldn’t like it if we were vandalising your graves, this is the only grave these boys have and the only place where you can come to commemorate them,” she said. 

Since Monday, the cenotaph has been cleaned again by Mareeba Shire Council. 

If you see any suspicious behaviour towards the cenotaph, please call the police.  

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