LAUNCESTON City Council workers this week removed a plaque from a war memorial garden nine months after a council artist created it because council officers are worried the wording is offensive.
The plaque taken away was one of two at either end of the rose garden in Launceston's Kings Park, which will be officially opened early next month as the first Northern Tasmanian memorial to the Tasmanian World War II 2/40 AIF Battalion.
The two storyboard-style plaques were designed and created in collaboration with the surviving 15 members of the 2/40th.
The plaques are designed to work as pointers to a website that will carry the stories of the battalion's hard war rarely heard before.
But Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said that the offending plaque had been taken down because it contained photographs of ``contemporaneous newspaper reports''.
``On installing them council officers raised some concern about the material on the second panel and questioned whether it was an appropriate sentiment for a place of remembrance,'' Mr Dobrzynski said.
Aldermen will now decide whether the wording is appropriate after being briefed by Greens Beach man Rod Stone, who has raised funds and campaigned for the memorial garden for nearly two years.
Mr Stone's father was one of the few members of the 2/40th Battalion to come home after World War II, surviving fierce fighting and some of the toughest conditions as prisoners of war in places like the Burma Thai railway, Hellfire Pass and the Japanese coalmines.
The 2/40th lost 264 men in World War II - 74 in battle and 191 in captivity.
Mr Stone has been called to explain the wording of the removed plaque to council aldermen at next Tuesday's meeting.
Mr Dobrzynski said that the horrendous cruelty in the Pacific theatre of World War II had been well documented elsewhere.
``When war monuments were erected around Tasmania and Australia after the Great War the communities that built them already knew all too well what had occurred - they made a distinction between a place of remembrance and contemplation and actual recording and setting down the details of what occurred elsewhere,'' he said.
Mr Stone said that he was disappointed that it had taken nine months for council officers to question the wording on the plaque that had been designed and made on site by council artist Stalley Britton under the direction of parks department director Niall Simpson in consultation with Mr Stone.
Some of those with whom Mr Stone checked the wording and design of the plaque included the 15 remaining 2/40th members.
As well there was Tasmanian historian Peter Henning who wrote Doomed Battalion , the story of the 2/40th, Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten and former Launceston MLC and mayor Don Wing, who both speak on the video of the history website to be launched in conjunction with the memorial garden. Mr Stone also sent a copy for approval to the curator of the Kanchanaburi war museum on the Burma-Thai railway, Rod Beattie, and Royal Tasmanian Regiment president Graham Alomes.