The Shrine of Remembrance – Melbourne, Australia

In Melbourne, Victoria one of the cities most famous landmarks is the Shrine of Remembrance. Completed in 1934, the Shrine was built to commemorate Australian troops lost in World War One – “The Great War (1914-1918).

The Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne Victoria Australia
The Shrine of Remembrance

The Shrine’s design with its pyramidal roof and influences from ancient Greece is intended to offer a sense of solidity as a permanent memorial that provided a place for people to pay their respects for family members buried far away on the other side of the world. It has since become a place to commemorate Australian soldiers that have fought and lost their lives in all wars.

The buttresses of the external walls of the Shrine have large sculptures depicting the virtues of Patriotism, Sacrifice, Justice and Peace and Goodwill.

Shrine Sculpture Melbourne Buttresses

The eastern external wall has the following inscription:

“This monument was erected by a grateful people to the honoured memory of the men and women who served the empire in the Great War of 1914-1918”

Eastern Buttress Shrine Melbourne
Eastern buttress

The western external wall has the following inscription:

“Let all men know this is holy ground. This Shrine established in the hearts of men as on the solid earth commemorates a people’s fortitude and sacrifice. Ye therefore that come after give remembrance.”

Western Buttress Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne Australia
Western buttress

The Shrine has a number of areas within it, including The Sanctuary which is surrounded by friezes depicting Australian involvement in World War One and the Stone of Remembrance with the inscription “Greater love hath no man“. At regular intervals an artificial “Ray of Light” passes over the stone, but on Remembrance Day on November 11th at 11am the day and time the armistice to end World War One was signed, natural light passes over the word “love” on the stone.

The Sanctuary Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne
The Sanctuary
Stone of Remembrance The Shrine Melbourne
Stone of Remembrance
the Sanctuary Shrine
The Sanctuary

Below the Sanctuary is The Crypt. This room acts as a memorial to the military units that served during 1914 to 1918 and includes various regimental flags and a statue entitled “Father and Son” to honour the courage and sacrifice of two generations in two world wars.

The Crypt Father and Son Shrine of Remembrance
The Crypt
The Crypt Father and Son Statue Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne Victoria
The Crypt – Father & Son

A newer section of the Shrine houses a visitors centre and small museum displaying photos, uniforms, equipment and medals.

The Shrine of Remembrance Visitor Centre Entrance Melbourne
Visitor Centre entrance
Commonwealth Medal Display Shrine of Remembrance Visitors Centre
A Commonwealth medal display in the Shrines Visitor Centre
1942 POW Changi Prison Flag Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne Victoria Australia
A POW flag from Singapore’s Changi Prison (1942)
Wing Commander Keith McCarthy WW2 Medals
Wing Commander Keith McCarthy WW2 Medals – including a Distinguished Fly Cross (1944)
Bristol Beaufighter over the Shrine World War 2
A Bristol Beaufighter over the Shrine in WW2

The grounds of the Shrine have various memorial statues, trees and gardens. There is also the  eternal flame that burns continuously in honour of those who fought in World War Two.

View of Melbourne Australia from the Shrine
View from the top of the Shrine
Cobbers Statue Shrine Melbourne Australia Fromelles 1916
“Cobbers” in memory of those who fought at the Battle of Fromelles in 1916
The Driver Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne Australia
“The Driver”
Cenotaph Eternal Flame Shrine of Remembrance
Cenotaph & Eternal Flame
Eternal Flame Shrine Melbourne
The Eternal Flame

Each year on ANZAC Day (April 25th) the Shrine is a focal point for a veterans march to commemorate all who served their country in a time of war. Since the 1970’s the memorial has played a part in my life and remains a special place to me. I marched with one of my Grandfathers to the Shrine and I have attended dawn services to pay tribute to fallen country men and women. I had not been there for a number of years and this recent visit provided me a great opportunity to wander its corridors and crypt to pay my respects again without the large crowd that normally accompany significant days in our Australian history. Lest we forget.

Lest We Forget Wall The Shrine of Remembrance
Lest We Forget

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Great photos — I posted a link to your blog on our Facebook page.

    1. Deano says:

      Thanks for taking a look at my blog. Much appreciated 🙂

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