For those who have served with the Australian Army, those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of their nation, and those who still serve, honorably, fighting injustice in the world alongside Australia's allies, this war memorial serves them, and the people who wish to honor the sacrifice, courage, dedication, selfless service, fortitude, and commitment to their great nation. The Roll of Honour dedicates the achievements and sacrifices of over 102,000 Australians who gave their lives, and everyone else who'd served at home, and abroad.
This war memorial is unlike most others. It has spent all the years since November 11th, 1941, on Australia's national Remembrance Day, to fill the archives, gather the documents, display the war paintings, preserve the artifacts, and educate the population. The history of the war memorial is just as fascinating and rich as the history within its walls. The Australian War Memorial is internationally recognized as one of the greatest memorials and national monuments in the world. The building itself has Byzantine style architecture, with etchings, carvings, and contrast among distinct Australian settings around eucalypts and lawns surrounding the large ceremonial avenue.
Charles Bean was the inspiration and main lobbyist for the war memorial being built in 1941. Charles Bean and others had tried for several years to lobby for it, and it was accepted, but during the period between 1927 and 1941, there was no local architectural designers that were worthy of winning the contest that was made to find the best architect for the huge job. Two stood out from the rest though, John Crust and Emil Sodersteen were encouraged to collaborate instead of introducing individual bids, and finally, their proposal was accepted, and the building was successfully constructed on that Remembrance Day in 1941. The perfect collaboration occurred when Emil envisioned and designed the overall building and wings, and with John designing the Roll of Honour to name 60,000 heroes.
Along with Charles Bean, who was the official war correspondent during the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915, a man named John Treloar, who was a Captain in the Australian Imperial Force at the time, was appointed to lead the Australian War Records Section, located in England. He was then responsible for acquiring relics, artifacts, records, and all the other history of Australia's military history. John Treloar was nominated to be the director of the Australia War Museum in 1920, and he worked in that position until the day he died. John Treloar influenced so much of the museum, along with Charles Bean, and the architects, and it remains a place to continue to grow and honor all those who serve, today.
The Australia War Museum was the most visited place in Australia in 2017, and the following will explain why. The historic building is something of wonder and beauty and is a permanent exhibit in itself. The walls contain hidden historical treasures and education that needs to be explored. Here are the other exhibits you can experience:
Last Post Ceremony- This ceremony is conducted to honor Australians who've sacrificed themselves for their people, and their country, and you can actually capture it live on the museum's website every single day at 4:55 pm AEDT.
Commemorative Courtyard- The front entrance of the memorial, where the stone lions of Menin road at Ypres once stood, opens the door to the commemorative area, where many of the museums incredible features lie:
· Pool of Reflection
· Over 26 Statues
· The Eternal Flame
Roll of Honour- On both sides of the Commemorative Courtyard are several archways that lead to the Roll of Honour, which spans the wall's surface and extends all the way down the length of both sides of the building. There are just over 102,000 names, all inscribed in bronze, of the people that have died in Australia's conflicts and wars since 1885. Most people who visit the memorial have a tradition of inserting poppy flowers in the nooks of the Roll of Honour, near a loved one's name. The gesture is really an emotional and beautiful thing.
Hall of Memory- This gorgeous room sits at the center of the memorial. It is designed in this way, which it is only accessible by going past the Roll of Honour, so the visitor may remember those brave men and women. Napier Waller designed the Hall of Memory before it officially opened in 1959, after the second world war.
Hall of Valour- This part of the memorial honors 100 Australians who received the Victoria Cross. The Victoria Cross has been used to commend valor among sailors and soldiers since the Crimean War of 1854. The Hall of Valour also features nine Australian Defence soldiers who have been awarded the George Cross. The George Cross has been awarded to 22 people, 11 to the Australian Defence soldiers, and 11 to civilians who have exuded bravery in a time of crisis.
The Sculpture Garden- In 1999, the Sculpture Garden was opened, and serves as a quiet place to contemplate the sacrifices all those men and women have made over the years. The sculptures that are present in the garden are considered some of the best works in the world. Many sculptures resemble brave men and women in all branches of the Australian military, including Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop, which commemorates a scene in which medical personnel aided Australian POW's in WWII. Along the garden are hundreds of plaques, each telling a short history and story of many of the military units that are recognized for their bravery in war and conflict efforts. Here are just some of the sculptures and their meanings that you can find at the Australian War Museum:
Simpson and his donkey, 1915- This piece is a scene where a medic is putting wounded on his donkey to help in the war efforts. It was made for people to remember that there are heroes on front lines other than combat troops.
War- The locals nicknamed this statue "Bellona", which was given to Australia in 1920 when Bertram Mackennal made it in his effort to create something that represented the gallantry and courage of Australian troops.
Survivors- Australian merchant seamen are honored here because of their valor and duty manning ships in every port of the world in WWI and WWII.
Bomber Command Memorial- This statue is huge, with intertwining steel beams going up, and a "splash" on the bottom, as it resembles a bomb being dropped, and the beginning of the impact as it hits the ground. It serves to honor the brave men and women of the RAAF who died during WWII.
Australian Serviceman- This elegant statue depicts a young man looking out into the future with hope for his people, and his nation.
Australian Servicewomen's Memorial- This piece bears a platform with a winding space in the middle, representing a river in land. Anne Ferguson designed the piece with the intention of evoking the woman's warrior spirit. The granite tiles were taken from every part of Australia, so represent all who served, and lost their lives, in all parts of the country. The "river" that runs through the piece separates the periods before and after the beginning of WWII.
Sandakan Memorial- This piece inspires memory and grief for those who died during the Sandakan death march in Borneo, 1945. While it looks like 5 long steps and a ramp, separated in the middle, it actually serves as an accurate sundial.
Animals in War Memorial- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals teamed up with the Australian War Memorial to create a piece to remember all the brave and courageous animals who helped Australia in every conflict and war. The piece inspires remembrance in how animals have served in practical ways, and also in helping the veteran cope with grief, war, loss, and tragedy. Animals continue to be a large part of Australia's military and they have the utmost respect for every one of them.
Patriotism- This ornate statue is small in size, but large at heart, as it inspires remembrance of the fallen of WWI. You can see a grand chariot being pulled by two lions, and at the helm, a child, who represents all the future people who will inherit the kingdom of freedom from their sacrifice.
Elevation of the Senses- This statue commemorates the working dogs of the military. You will see three broken pillars, and a dog on top with his handler, giving him praise. Dogs have been a vital ally in all wars and conflicts since WWI, and this statue serves as inspiration to honor Canids, and honor their sacrifice and bravery as well.
Special Events- There are hundreds of events that take place every year at Australia's busiest destination attraction. Here are a few of the special events:
Hearts and Minds: Wartime Propaganda- This collection displays government campaign posters that protest the Vietnam war, WWI, and WWII, as well as calls to action posters from recruiters.
The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors- This exhibit represents the millions of people who tragically lost their lives due to Nazi tyranny during WWII. It tells the stories of brave survivors, as well as outsider points of view, and stories of people who moved to Australia to leave that life behind them.
Shopping- There is a large online store that people can go to purchase all kinds of memorabilia and trinkets that represent the Australian War Memorial. You can buy military books, figurines, bookends that resemble the Menin gate lions, and art by famous military artists.
Treloar Crescent, Campbell ACT 2612, Australia, Phone: +61-02-62-43-45-23