Memorial cross and plaque

Memorial Cross to Ninnis and Mertz, on memorial Hill, Cape Denison
Memorial Cross to Ninnis and Mertz, on memorial Hill, Cape Denison. (Photo: Angus McDonald)
The plaque placed below the memorial cross at Cape Denison, carved by Hodgeman and made from part of the dining tableMemorial cross to Mertz and NinnisThe Memorial Cross and Plaque dedicated to Mertz and Ninnis, 19 December 2005

A memorial cross to Ninnis and Mertz was erected on Azimuth Hill, to the northwest of the Main Hut, in November 1913. The cross was built by Francis Bickerton, apparently using remnant timber from the radio masts. The members were 1700mm x 1700mm, and stood to a height of 3.4m with a crossbar that spanned 2.3m.

A plaque was added to the cross, with an inscription by Hodgeman:

Erected to commemorate the supreme sacrifice made by Lieut. B.E.S. Ninnis, R.F. and Dr X Mertz in the cause of science A.A.E. 1913 A.J. Hodgeman

The cross has been blown off on numerous occasions. In 1931 it was reattached by BANZARE, in 1978 by ANARE, and a third time by the AAP Mawson’s Huts Foundation expedition in 1997/1998. The original plaque is now in the Library of the Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania. A replica is fixed in its place at Cape Denison.

This page was last modified on September 28, 2017.