Australian War Memorial, Canberra

5 out of 5 stars 72 Reviews

Treloar Crescent, Campbell 02 6243 4211
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    Canberra War Memorial a must see destination

    by fachd Updated Sep 10, 2014

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    The Australian War Memorial is the national capital icon and is considered one of the nation’s best. The Australian War Memorial was opened in 1941. It is a collection of historical information, memorabilia, paintings reflecting to Australian men and women involvement in world war conflict. The collections range from Boer War (South African War), WWI to recent Gulf War, which covers large information. Also is a place for conserving Australian cultural heritage.

    Inside the War Memorial visitors are able to see many exhibitions on display. The exhibitions are well assembled. You will see uniforms that Australian soldiers and nurses wear, they are also American, German, Russian, British and others. There’s scenery of important battles. Tanks from WWI, the Japanese mini sub, the Korean War and many more are display. Inside the War Memorial you could spent all day just observing and reading the display.

    On the side of the building there are two large wall of which names of fallen loved one is scribed. For remembrance red poppies are placed by relatives. Not far from the Pool of Reflection is the Domed, inside the Domed is the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier (1914-1918).

    Outside the building there is a statue of Simpson and his Donkey. John Simpson is Australian hero. At Gallipoli with heavy bombardment, Simpson and a donkey carried water up Shrapnel Gulley and bring the wounded soldiers into safer area.

    Along the Anzac Parade there are several memorials representing Australian involvement in War, the Vietnam War memorial is one of them.

    Open daily between 10.00am-5.00pm.

    Free admission. Donation box at the entrance.

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Simpson and his Donkey a Legend The Pool of Reflection Anzac Parade Diggers Anzac Day at Canberra War Memorial
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    Bellona - The Offensive Goddess

    by wabat Updated Jul 14, 2015

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    Dear reader – sit down and let me tell you a story – a story of Canberra’s first statue and war memorial.

    But before I start - while driving by the War Memorial last week (Dec 2014) I noticed that Bellona was missing from her pedestal. I will investigate and update, but once you have read this review you may not be surprised by this latest twist. The Memorial's website provides no clues. Update July 2015 - The good lady has been returned to her pedestal. Where she has been I don't know.

    In 1916 sculptor Bertram Mackennal, unable to sell this sculpture – entitled War or Bellona – Goddess of War - decided to offer it as a gift to Australia as a tribute to Australian solders in WWI (especially the Anzac’s). It was accepted but it took five years before Prime Minister Hughes sent a thank-you letter - five years during which Bellona lay hidden in a Melbourne celler.

    The sculpture was installed on the steps of the then Parliament House in Melbourne on Anzac Day 1921. When Parliament moved to Canberra it was decided that Bellona’s busty company was not required and the Australian War Memorial, then under construction and perhaps an obvious home for the statue, wanted nothing to do with it. Such a display of cleavage was not appropriate for the new Capital. Anyway in 1926 she arrived in Canberra minus her tasteful black marble plinth which was replaced with a crude concrete substitute.

    Bellona, Canberra’s first statue, was placed on the southern side of the Molonglo River (pre lake days of course) on Commonwealth Avenue between the two traffic lanes and close to the Albert Hall. Bellona was soon christened Boadicea or Bodie by the locals who loved. The politicians, perhaps of higher morals in those days, still found her hard to take.

    People soon decided it was time for fun.

    New Years’ Eve revelers on 1 January 1932 adorned Bodie with a wire street waste paper receptacle (placed atop her helmet) and a beer bottle. In 1933 her exposed bust was covered, with an article of ‘women’s wearing apparel’. In March 1939 a pair of conical breast shields made from softened gramophone records adorned her nakedness. Later she had her breasts 'brasso' polished by pranksters to a high gleam.

    Panic struck the hierarchy in 1954 when Queen Elizabeth II was to visit Canberra for the first time. Bellona was smack bang in the middle of the processional route – what would her Majesty think ? And worse still, what would Her Majesty think if pranksters stuck? The police assured everyone pranksters would not strike. Thirty-six hours before the arrival of the Queen, Bellona was found sporting an oversized pink bra. The next night green paint was applied. Bellona was removed. It was announced that the move and royal visit were unrelated and Bellona was just moving to her rightful home at the Australian War Memorial.

    A few days later pranksters placed a tombstone on the empty site – engraved "RIP Goddess Bellona".

    As it happened, Bellona took a circuitous route to the War Memorial via a Government building in Parkes and the grounds of Government House in Yarralumla. The 3km trip took 36 years. After 12 years at the Memorial, in 1993 “the grounds for a sculpture garden required preparation” and Bellona would have to be moved temporarily again and so she was – to within 100metres of her 1926 position by the Albert Hall.

    In August 1999 Bellona made her final move to her current position in the new Australian War Memorial Sculpture Garden, backing on to the Lone Pine tree and at a suitably modest distance away from the memorial lest she offend 21st century visitors to the War Memorial in the way she did our early 20th century politicians. Do walk through the grass for a closer look - evidently funds were insufficient to provide a path - or were they?


    Next Review – War Memorial and ANZAC Parade

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Directions: Standing at the main entrance of the War Memorial and looking towards Anzac Parade, Bellona is about one hundred metres ahead and slightly to the right, close to the road - Limestone Avenue.

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Bellona - Goddess of War Bellona and the Lone Pine tree Bellona - Goddess of War
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    War Memorial – Sculpture Garden Pt 2 of 2

    by wabat Updated Dec 22, 2014

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    This is part two of my tip on the Australian War Memorial’s Sculpture Garden. Part 1 can be found here. There is actually also a part 3 which relates to one particular statue about which I would like to share a bit more history – see that tip here - Bellona - The Offensive Goddess.

    The Sculpture Garden found around the Australian War Memorial was established in January 1999 with the aim of offering a place for quiet contemplation of the sacrifice of the many Australians who have died in war. It does this very well.

    Among the the sculptures in the Sculpture Garden you will find:

    Animals in War Memorial - Pictures 1 and 2

    This (one of my favourite statutes in Canberra) Memorial is a joint project between the Australian War Memorial and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). The memorial commemorates those animals that served alongside Australians in all conflicts.

    The centrepiece of the memorial is a large bronze horse head, the only remaining fragment from the original Desert Mounted Corps memorial – installed in Port Said, Egypt and unveiled in 1932 by Australia's wartime Prime Minister Billy Hughes. In 1956 the Desert Mounted Corps memorial was destroyed by rioters during the Suez Crisis. The remaining fragments of this memorial were returned to Australia.

    The original memorial was replaced by two copies in Australia, one of which can be found on Anzac Parade . See my separate tip for details of the new memorials.

    National Service Memorial - Picture 3

    The National Service Memorial was dedicated on Wednesday, 8 September, 2010.

    This memorial remembers all National Servicemen who died on active service and commemorates some 290,000 plus men called up (conscripted) in two schemes between 1951 and 1972 for service in the army navy and air-force.

    The sandstone plinth matches the walls of Australian War Memorial and symbolises the earth and Army; the water in the bronze bowl symbolises the Navy; and sky reflected in the polished black granite slab symbolises the Air Force.

    The most remembered use of conscripted personnel was in the Vietnam War. From 1965 to 1972, 15,381 national servicemen served in the Vietnam War, of which 200 were killed and 1,279 wounded. Conscription for Vietnam provoked great debate within the Australian community, with university students and others taking part in large anti-conscription and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. The National Service Scheme was abolished on 5 December 1972.

    Australian Servicewomen's Memorial - Picture 4

    This memorial, designed by Sydney sculptor, Anne Ferguson, commemorates all women who served, suffered and died in the defence of Australia.

    For many women, the work they undertook during the Second World War provided a first taste of freedom and responsibility.

    Visitors are invited to stand within the memorial and reflect on the service and sacrifice of Australian Servicewomen

    Australian Serviceman's Memorial - Picture 5

    This sculpture was initially commissioned for the Hall of Memory in 1954. Australian Serviceman was completed in 1958 and installed in the Hall of Memory, which is where it was displayed until 1993. In 1993 it was removed from the Hall of Memory, when the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was installed.

    The figure is intended to symbolise 'young Australia' in an attitude of determination and courage and in a spirit of achievement and hope for the future.


    Next Review – War Memorial and ANZAC Parade

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Animals in War Memorial Animals in War Memorial National Service Memorial Australian Servicewomen's Memorial Australian Serviceman's Memorial

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    War Memorial – Sculpture Garden Pt 1 of 2

    by wabat Updated Dec 22, 2014

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    I have divided this tip into two (ok 3) separate tips so that I can include pictures of all 10 monuments I would like to tell you a little about. Tip 2 can be found here .Tip 3 actually relates to one particular statue which I mention below but about which I would like to share a bit more history – see my separate tip - Bellona - The Offensive Goddess .

    The Sculpture Garden found around the Australian War Memorial was established in January 1999 with the aim of offering a place for quiet contemplation of the sacrifice of the many Australians who have died in war. It does this very well.

    Many visitors underestimate the time it takes to visit the Australian War Memorial itself with the result that no time is left to have a look at the sculptures around the memorial. Allow a minimum of 3 hrs for the Memorial and Sculpture Garden. Add 1.5hrs if you wish to visit the National memorials on Anzac Parade which I highly recommend you do.

    Among the the sculptures in the Sculpture Garden you will find:

    Simpson and his donkey, 1915 – Peter Collett – Picture 1

    This sculpture, the most visited and loved in the Sculpture Garden is all about the ANZAC story and spirit. A story of courage and tenacity in the face of adversity The story of a soldier – a stretcher bearer, Simpson, enduring pain, injury, fatigue and emotionally drained who perseveres against the odds to save his friends – his mates. A true act of humanity and self sacrifice. Simpson or Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick (arguably Australia’s most famous soldier) took part in the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915 and became famous with his donkey for ferrying water in to troops in Shrapnel Gully and ferrying wounded men back out under continual shell fire. He was killed on 19 May 1945 after less than 4 weeks service.

    Survivors – Dennis Adams – Picture 2

    This memorial commemorates the service and sacrifice of Australian merchant seamen who manned ships around the world during the/First and Second World Wars.

    Often, like nurses, merchant seamen are often overlooked though their support through carrying troops and supplies was vital to the success of the war effort.

    Bomber Command Memorial –Neil Dawson – Picture 3

    This rather odd shaped sculpture commemorates the service and sacrifice of the RAAF air and ground crew who served and died with Bomber Command during the Second World War. The memorial includes a symbolised searchlight beam (Bomber Command operated at night), images of air and ground crew as silhouetted figures in the form of a curved stainless steel wall and stencils of the eight plane types flown (Halifax, Wellington, Lancaster, Mosquito, Stirling, Blenheim, Whitely and Hampden) and a glass plate at the base of the searchlight beam.

    Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop – Peter Collett –Picture 4

    This work, a life-size statue of Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop, commemorates the medical staff who came to the aid of Australian prisoners of war in the Pacific in the Second World War. From another of my tips you will be aware that “Weary’ Dunlop dedicated the rebuilt Changi Chapel at the Royal Military College at Duntroon in 1988. Dunlop was, himself, a prisoner of war and surgeon at Changi Prison Camp in Singapore.

    Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial – James Parrett – Picture 5

    This 2012 addition to the Sculpture Garden commemorates those Australians who died in the defence of Rabaul (Papua New Guinea), and those who later died as prisoners in the sinking of the Montevideo Maru.

    Many Australians were killed during and in the aftermath of the Japanese invasion of Rabaul in January 1942. In late June 1942 more than 1000 Australian servicemen and civilians left Rabaul on the Montevideo Maru. All on board died when the unmarked ship was torpedoed by an American submarine off the Philippines coast on 1 July. While this was Australia’s largest maritime tragedy several other Japanese ships carrying Australian prisoners met the same fate through ‘friendly” fire.

    The circular forms in stainless steel are intended to depict waves with the large sweeping curves conveying both the power of the sea and the magnitude of the tragedy.

    Bellona and the Lone Pine Tree

    Bellona is Canberra’s first statue / memorial dating back to 1926 and has a fascinating history of being loved and hated and being moved on numerous occasions before finally(?) coming to rest at the War Memorial in 1999. I have prepared a separate tip on Bellona - one of Canberra's icons. - Bellona - The Offensive Goddess.

    Belonna is located near the Lone Pine tree. This tree was raised from one of the seeds of a pine cone sent home by an Australian soldier at Gallipoli to his mother. It was planted at the Memorial in 1934 in memory of all the sons of Australia who fell at Lone Pine. You can see a picture of the tree on my Bellona tip.

    Another 4 memorials are reviewed in my separate tip War Memorial – Sculpture Garden Pt 2 of 2 otherwise, if you have come here from my Australian War Memorial tip click here to return there if you wish.


    Next Review – War Memorial and ANZAC Parade

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Simpson and his donkey, 1915 Survivors Bomber Command Memorial Sir Edward Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial
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    The Australian War Memorial

    by tiabunna Updated Apr 17, 2006

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    This should top the list as a 'must see'. Situated across the lake from Parliament House, along the Anzac Avenue axis (see heading photo) and directly below Mt Ainslie, the Australian War Memorial is the seemingly contrasting combination of a world-class war museum and a very solemn war memorial. You will be alternately fascinated and depressed by what you find there. The overall effect is tremendously moving.

    I would suggest that you allow a day for a visit if possible. If only half a day is available, ensure you visit the Shrine to the Unknown Soldier and the Hall of Memories (where there are plaques listing over 100,000 Australians who have died in wars involving our country - well over half in WW1).

    There are free guided tours of the Memorial. For those interested in family genealogy, there is also a comprehensive database of military records, available to family members.

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Directions: At the foot of Mt Ainslie, where Limestone Avenue, Fairbairn Avenue and Anzac Parade meet. It's a little far to walk from the city, but you can get there on bus route 33 or 40 from the main bus interchange at Civic (the main city area).

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au

    Australian War Memorial and Mt Aislie
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    Simpson and his donkey

    by iandsmith Updated Sep 19, 2005

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    The exploits of a man and his donkey during the ill-conceived and executed battle on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey are the stuff of legend. How this man carried wounded troops back from the front line, time after time, is one of the great Australian epics of heroism under fire. It is held in such high esteem that this statue holds a pride of place as you walk from the carpark to the museum.
    During the current, at times hysterical, debate over immigration, this man's exploits were held as a prime example of what it means to be an Australian and what our values are. The high ranking politician who espoused this was perhaps unaware that Simpson was, in point of fact, an illegal immigrant and lied his way to get into the army. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Epic man, epic deeds
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    National Aboriginal War Memorial or Not?

    by wabat Updated Jun 7, 2016

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    Each year on ANZAC Day (25 April) thousand of veterans, serving personnel and members of the general public attend the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to remember those who have served and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for Australia in various wars and conflicts down the ages.

    When the dawn service is over a small group of veterans and others make there way into the bush to a small clearing on the slopes of Mt Ainslie some 300 metres behind the War Memorial. A second service of remembrance is held here (and has been for around 15 years), at the Aboriginal War Memorial plaque, to remember Aboriginal people who have served in the Australian forces.

    Until 1967 Indigenous Australians did not have the right to vote and were not included in Australia’s census counts.

    This effective non-recognition of Indigenous Australians as Australian citizens was particularly troublesome for the authorities when it came to them serving, or not, in the armed services.

    At the outset of WWI Indigenous Australians who tried to enlist were rejected on grounds of race though some slipped through. As the war progressed and more servicemen were needed (a conscription referendum was defeated) restrictions were eased and a new Military Order permitted that "Half-castes may be enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force provided that the examining Medical Officers are satisfied that one of the parents is of European origin." It is thought that over 1,000 Indigenous Australians fought in WWI. Prior to WWI and Australian Federation in 1901 many has served in colonial forces, most noticeably during the Boer War between 1899 and 1901.

    In 1939 Indigenous Australians were allowed to enlist in WWII and many did. The following year the Defence Committee decided that their enlistment was ‘neither necessary nor desirable’ partly because White Australians would object to serving with them and partly because there was doubt as to whether they could be trusted or not - Indigenous Australians might see the Japanese as liberators from White rule. Again, as WWII progressed and the need for manpower increased restrictions eased and it is thought that around 3,000 Indigenous Australians may have served, with many killed or dying as prisoners of war.

    I should point out that the difficulty in determining the number of Indigenous Australians who have served in the armed forces is due to the fact as ethnicity of enlistees was not documented.

    Immediately post WWII restrictions on Indigenous Australian enlistment were re-imposed but attitudes were changing and restrictions based on race were finally abandoned in 1949. Since then Indigenous Australians have served in all conflicts in which Australia has participated.

    Australia’s main national war memorials are on Anzac Parade and are, in the main, rather grand affairs. I have written separate reviews on each of them with a summary review ANZAC Parade – Memorials. Arguably these memorials which are focused on particular wars, campaigns or parts of the Australian armed services represent and commemorate all Australians – indigenous and non-indigenous.

    There have, nonetheless, been and are ongoing calls for a specific Aboriginal war memorial to be erected on ANZAC Parade. Regrettably, this is as much a political hot potato as it is anything else – and as such I leave it to my readers to draw their own conclusions.

    The current privately erected non-official (though accepted) memorial plaque was erected in 1994 and is a very simple, though moving tribute and certainly worthy the short detour from the Australian War Memorial to see it. In many senses the simplicity and the bush setting of this plaque makes it even more poignant than the much larger and more formal memorials on ANZAC Parade.

    To get to the memorial plaque, take the path to the summit Mt Ainslie from the back of the War Memorial for about a hundred and fifty metres and you will come across a sign directing you to the Aboriginal Plaque, 70 metres to the left of the summit track.

    If you have come by way my Australian War Memorial summary tip please click here to return to that tip if you so wish.


    Next Review – War Memorial and ANZAC Parade

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Directions: About 300 mts behind the Australian War Memorial via the Mt Ainslie Summit track.

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Aboriginal Memorial Plaque Aboriginal Memorial Plaque Aboriginal Memorial Plaque
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    Menin Gate Lions

    by wabat Updated Apr 19, 2015

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    The Menin Gate Lions and the painting Menin Gate at Midnight are currently on loan to the Canadian War Museum and will then go to Belgian city of Ypres in time for the centenary of the battle of Passchendaele in 2017. The painting and the lions will return the Australian War Memorial in 2018.

    It is rare that one finds medieval art or sculptures in Australia and probably the last place on would expect to encounter such would be in the Australian War Memorial, built in 1936 to commemorate the sacrifice of Australians who have died in war (essentially since the mid 1800s).

    On entering the War Memorial you will encounter two lions, one on your right and one on your left, sentinels guarding the walkway to the Hall of Memory and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    Context For details of the Menin Gate Memorial and Australia’s connection with Ypres see my separate review on the ‘Menin Gate at Midnight’ – a painting on display at the Australian War Memorial. This will put this tip in context so I suggest you read it before proceeding if you have not already done so or are not already cognisant of the Menin Gate at Ypres. For those who would like a more detailed review of Leper (Ypres) which includes a very personal perspective I recommend you have a look at VT Member Breughel's excellent page on Ieper.

    Australian War Memorial literature indicates that the limestone lions, recovered from the Menin Gate at Ypres (now Ieper), Belgium toward the end of WWI were gifted to Australia in 1936 by the burgomaster (major) as a token of friendship and an acknowledgement of Australia’s sacrifice. In return Australia presented Ypres with a bronze casting of C. Web Gilbert’s sculpture Digger which is now on display in the Salient 1914—18 War Museum in the rebuilt Cloth Hall in Ypres.

    It is interesting to note that there is no record of other Empire countries (Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, the UK, South Africa or India) having received any gift from Ypres. A statue from the Cloth Hall in Ypres currently in the Auckland Museum is thought to have been “souvenired” by an officer as opposed to having been gifted to New Zealand. The alternative, and probably more precise, view as to how the lions came to be in Canberra is that, the then, Australian Ambassador Bruce actually asked for the lions specifically for the Australian War Memorial then being built in Canberra and his wish was granted.

    Where were the lions between the early 1920s and 1936? Yet another view, perpetuated by some local Ypres townsfolk is that Australian soldiers had already "self-gifted" themselves the lions and they were indeed already in Australia – hidden until the 1936 official gifting or request.

    How the lions officially came into the possession of Australia doesn’t really matter any more. For others, and indeed Australia, the daily Last Post Ceremony performed, to this day, by the Ypres firemen is, in my view, ample thanks for Empire sacrifices in Ypres and Belgium. If you can, time your visit to the Australian War Memorial to coincide with its daily Last Post Ceremony which is held at 5pm (as the Memorial closes).

    The lions (which each carry the coat-of-arms of Ypres) are thought to date back to the eleventh century and in later years to have stood at the entrance to the Cloth Hall, Ypres’ civic and commercial centre. In the mid to late1800s on the occasion of the refurbishment of the Cloth Hall the lions were moved to the Menin Gate which was really one of two cuttings (as opposed to a gate) in the towns medieval ramparts as you may discern in picture three attached – a pre war postcard of the old Menin Gate.

    The lions stood and welcomed thousands of (and simultaneously farewelled, to their death, so many) Allied (mainly Empire) soldiers as they made their way to the Western Front during World War I. Over 36,000 Australian soldiers were killed or wounded on the battlefields of the Ypres Salient, most of them during the battles in 1917. Over 6,000 of them have no known grave and are now commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial.

    During the war the lions (most of the town was destroyed) were badly damaged by German artillery fire and, while recovered from the rubble, they were not incorporated into the Menin Gate Memorial built in 1927 – though it does include a single much larger lion which sits atop the Memorial.

    Until 1985 the lions (for the most part one only) were displayed at the War Memorial in their original damaged state. Between 1985 and 1987 the lions were restored by Kasimiers L. Zywuszko, a Polish-born sculptor. The restoration work was deliberately not ‘blended in’ such that visitors can easily distinguish the restored from the non restored. In 1991 the lions were again put on display at the Memorial, in the position you see them today.

    To return to my Australian War Memorial review click here.


    Next Review – War Memorial and ANZAC Parade

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Menin Gate Lion (left) Menin Gate Lion (right) Pre WWI Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium Last Post Ceremony at the AWM - Bugler
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    War Memorial - getting personal

    by iandsmith Updated Apr 8, 2010

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    I never knew the man, only his wife and his son. At the age of 35 he found himself in the god forsaken mud that was the battlefield at Ypres. He had travelled from South Australia and married Bathia and they lived at Wilberforce to the west of Sydney on a farm.
    By all accounts it was a happy existence until the war intervened. On the way over he had written home on the leaves from pussy willow trees. Echoes from the past that resonate still from a shelf in my study room. Heart rending epithets such as "To Bessie from W. My thoughts are always of you and Tom"; "There are some nice places but none so nice as home"; "To Bessie from W. far across the sea"; "From A55 to Kelmont, where would I rather be?". I find it a bit gut-wrenching reading them now.
    Thus it was that these are the last pieces of tangible evidence of his existence. On the 4th October, 1917, along with many others, he was blown to smithereens by shellfire defending a country halfway round the world that he probably hardly knew existed. Two thirds who died did so by shellfire in that conflict........and for what? To placate a few male egos? Such were the times. And what have we learnt from them?
    My father, his son, also joined the services and served in the Second World War in New Guinea and stayed in the R.A.A.F. till his retirement. I served for one year in my youth, falling short of the standard required for an armament fitter and luckily getting out. My sons are anti war, no doubt influenced to some degree by their father.
    As one gets older one's roots seem to take on a significance not apparent in one's younger days and so it was that I made a pilgrimage to the War Memorial basement level to find out where my grandfather might be commemorated. It turns out there's a plaque on the Menin Gate at the town of Ieper (formerly Ypres) in Belgium. It was a teary-eyed moment for me to find that out and the rest of my time in the War Memorial I seemed to be burdened with that information, unable to take in some of the exhibits as I might have.
    It ultimately led me to going to Ypres (see Brugge pages) and seeing and learning things that were appalling. May we live in peace.

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    A place to die, diorama of battlefield at Ypres
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    The Shellal Mosaic

    by iandsmith Updated Sep 17, 2005

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    About the last thing you'd expect to find in a war museum is a floor mosaic from historical times. I, for one, was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across the Shellal Mosaic that was originally housed in a Palestinian chapel.
    The Hellenistic style of the vine trellis has pagan connotations. The full symmetry of design, detailed tonality of the animals create realistic 3 dimensional aspects of them. For me I was immediately reminded of the superb, virtually intact example at Aquileia in northern Italy.
    You can also see the merging of styles with the Hellenistic vine linking to the Roman isometric border and the symmetry being very Gazaean in design.
    When it comes to the Christian ideals of the floor piece it is obvious that the architecture of the church was extremely basic and primitive, with a simple rectangular floor and no presence of an apse. The only clue to where the altar may have been is the journey, one might say, of the central links of vines that symbolise traditional offerings, leading from one small crucifix cross to the top one where the altar may have been.
    At the top there is an inscription that says:
    "this temple with rich mosaics did decorate our most holy bishop...and the most Pious George, priest and sacristan, in the year 622 according to the era of Gaza, In the tenth year of the indication".
    An art historian by the name of Henderson has interpreted it as an allegory of salvation:
    The Vine is Christ as well as the Tree of Life that shelters all of god's creatures, and each animal represents either a virtue or aspect of humanity such as the Peacock (resurrection and eternal life). Down the centre, the subjects that arent of wildlife each have thier own meaning. The Amphora is the water of life with the unconsecrated water being in the west (at the bottom of the mosaic) and the baptismal or holy water being in the ast (at the top before the altar).

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Part of the mosaic
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    "G" for George

    by iandsmith Written Sep 17, 2005

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    This famous World War II bomber flew three tours of duty, 90 sorties, and thus became famous for doing that alone. Most didn't even make the first thirty.
    All the original markings are still on it and they currently have an excellent light and sound show that simulates, to some degree, what it must have been like during a bombing raid. Frankly, I thought the sound effects must have been pretty close to reality.
    The markings on the side also indicate when new captains took over.

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

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    Another war capture

    by iandsmith Written Sep 18, 2005

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    From the fabled city of Palmyra comes this bust, another World War I trophy, and it is of Hagar that refers to a famous story according to which Muslims believe that Hagar (Arabic Hajar), mother of all future Arabs, finds water in a well miraculously provided by Gibreel. Her quest is ritually reenacted by all those who go on the Hejira to Mecca, where the well is now enclosed by the Haram, the grand mosque. Her son Ismail (Ishmael) is considered the ancestor of all Arabs.

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Hagar, the bust from Palmyra
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    AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Updated Nov 19, 2009

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    ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST MUSEUMS.

    This Memorial has lots of extensive Galleries commemorating the sacrifice of 102,000 Australian’s who have died in war.
    Anything that is to do about a War that Australia has been involved in, you will find it here. Amazing dioramas, relics, photos, personal stories, make this a very sad place to visit.

    There are large halls containing information on WW1 and WW11, the AIRCRAFT HALL, ORIENTATION GALLERY & ANZAC HALL on entry level.

    On the lower level is information on the CONFLICTS FROM 1945 TO TODAY, THE RESEARCH CENTRE, DISCOVERY ZONE, COURTYARD GALLERY, SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS GALLERY and COLONIAL COMMITMENTS.

    FREE GUIDED TOURS ARE AVAILABLE………As is THE RESEARCH CENTRE, where you can research your family history if they were involved in one of the Wars.

    The room is open from 10 – 4.50 pm on week days and 1 – 4.50pm on Saturdays. The computer is very easy to use, and there is a gentleman that will help. We looked up some family members, then printed the information out. You may be lucky and find a photo of your relative, we weren’t.

    Enquiries at www.awm.gov.au research centre 02 62434315

    The Memorial shop, the last place you visit on the way out, has a big collection of books and other memorabilia.
    Visitors are welcome to attend various ceremonies and wreathlayings, including the daily closing ceremony featuring a piper or bugler at 4.55pm.
    For information on what is happening each day, see the staff in the Orientation gallery.

    The Museum is large, we spent 4.5 hours here, and could have easily spent a lot longer, so be aware to allow enough time to have a good look.

    OPEN 10 – 5pm daily

    ADMISSION...Please give a gold coin donation or more............it's EXCELLENT

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Signing up to go to War Soldier Teddies at the gift shop Great dioramas Great dioramas Australian Victorian Cross recipients
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    THE HALL OF MEMORY…..PART 2

    by balhannah Updated Sep 7, 2010

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    THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL................
    It would be a shame if you missed out on the “Hall of Memory.”
    This magnificent building can be found at the end of the “Pool of Reflection.”

    Inside on the walls are beautiful Mosaics and the Stained glassed windows are beautiful. These were designed by an Australian artist, Napier Walter.

    The Mosaics were completed in 1958, and consist of over 6 million tesserae imported from Italy. There is a symbolic meaning attached to each element of the design.
    The stunning mosaic in the dome, is divided into 7 segments, representing Australia’s 7 pointed federal star.

    The open hands symbolize the earth giving up the souls of the dead, who rise in the form of winged sarcopahagi towards the sun, the symbol of eternal life. The circular cornice incorporates such Australian motifs as wattle leaves and black swans, and an unbroken gold chain, symbolizing continuity.

    The stained glass windows have meaning too. Each of the 15 panels in the three stained glass windows portrays an Australian in the uniform and equipment of WW1.

    The south window depicts PERSONAL QUALITIES

    The west window depicts SOCIAL QUALITIES

    The east window depicts FIGHTING QUALITIES

    This hall is magnificent, a place to stand and admire, and to reflect.

    Please remember to be quiet, and to keep children under control. You are allowed to take photos.

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    Mosaic dome One of the stained glass windows Mosaic mosaic Mosaic
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    THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER - PART 3

    by balhannah Updated Nov 18, 2009

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    THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL

    THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER - PART 3

    Located in the Hall of Memory is the “Tomb of the unknown Australian soldier”

    On November 11th, 1993, an unknown Australian Soldier from WW1 was exhumed from a cemetery in France, and re-interred in the Hall of Memory.
    HE SYMBOLIZES ALL AUSTRALIANS WHO HAVE DIED IN WAR.

    The Unknown Australian Soldier is one of 46,000 Australians, who died on the western front in WW1, and one of 18,000 Australians killed in that war who have no known grave. How sad………….

    It is an official war grave, and if you wish, you can lay a flower upon it. In the shop, they sell the Red Poppies.

    This for me, was a very emotional area to visit. It was a place to stand and reflect on the horrors of War and the lives lost, and the sadness of so many “Unknown Soldiers”
    My heart was heavy when visiting this building.

    Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell

    Phone: 02 6243 4211

    Website: http://www.awm.gov.au/

    TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER
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