About Australian 9th Division War Memorial
The Australian 9th Division War Memorial in Egypt commemorates the Australian troops who died between July and November 1942 during the World War II North Africa Campaign, particularly during the Battle of El Alamein.
Around 6,000 members of the Australian 9th Division were cumulatively lost to these battles. The Australian 9th Division War Memorial is adjacent to the El Alamein Cemetery.
History of Australian 9th Division War Memorial
The Western Desert Campaign was fought between the Commonwealth forces (with later additions of some French, Polish, and Greek troops) all based in Egypt, and the Axis forces (German and Italian) based in Libya.
The campaign saw a conflict waged over 1,000km of desert between Alexandria in Egypt and Benghazi in Libya from 1940-1942, with the objective of controlling the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, the Middle Eastern oil supplies, and the supply route to Russia through Persia.
The El Alamein War Cemetery in Egypt contains the graves of men who died during various stages of Western Desert campaigns, with a particular focus on those who died during the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. This includes a separate monument dedicated to the Australian 9th Division, who represented a fifth of the army’s total casualties, totalling at 2,694.
During the Second Battle of El Alamein on 23 October 1942, the Australian 9th Division advanced, as part of an attack by four infantry divisions, on German and Italian defences.
The Australian 9th Division was on the front line longer, cumulatively, than any other Australian division, is one of the Australian military’s most decorated formations, and was praised by both Allied and Axis generals, including Bernard Montgomery and Erwin Rommel, who led opposing sides during the North Africa Campaign.
The brutal warfare they endured earned them the nickname ‘The Magnificent Ninth.’
Australian 9th Division War Memorial Today
Today, visitors to the El Alamein War Cemetery can find the memorial for the Australian 9th Division.
Getting to Australian 9th Division War Memorial
Alamein is a village, bypassed by the main coast road, approximately 130 kilometres by car west of Alexandria on the road to Mersa Matruh.
The first Commission road direction sign is located just beyond the Alamein police checkpoint and all visitors should turn off from the main road onto the parallel old coast road.
The cemetery lies off the road, slightly beyond a ridge, and is indicated by road direction signs approximately 25 metres before the low metal gates and stone wing walls which are situated centrally at the road edge at the head of the access path into the cemetery. The Cross of Sacrifice feature may be seen from the road.