Monday, 26 April 2010

ANZAC War Memorial

The Anzac War Memorial in Hyde Park South has recently undergone a complete repair and refurbishment. It was designed by C Bruce Dellit (1900-1942), winning first prize in one of the most prestigious architectural competitions of the day. Twenty nine years old in his second year of practice, the young architect imagined a monumental and highly sculptured design which broke away from revivalist traditions. It caused an uproar in the local architectural fraternity.
Located on the central axis of Hyde Park South (missing the underground railway), the Memorial was made possible after a protracted fund raising program initiated in 1919. Dellit's design in Bathurst granite is highly symbolic, with representational sculptures depicting events and personnel involved in World War 1. The memorial can be approached from four directions, the North and South approaches consist of grand staircases which lead to the upper circular Hall of Memory' (with its unique wreath like balustrade). The East and West entries lead to the lower circular Hall of Silence, featuring the sculpture representing the Sacrifice. In the upper space, the visitors are compelled to look downwards, causing their head to be reverently and naturally bowed.
The statuary, sculptures and bas-reliefs were the work of English born artist Raynor Hoff. Above the east and west portals are bronze bas-relief panels which depict the activities and campaigns of the Australian Infantry Forces (AIF). Eastern Front campaigns are represented on the east portal, including Gallipoli, laying of railway, Army Service Corps, Army Medical Corps, Light Horse, Camel Corps, Signal Units, Infantry, Artillery, Machine Gunners and the Pioneers. The record of the AIF on the Western Front shown on the west portal includes the Air Force, Cycle Corps, Artillery, Army Medical Corps, Bombers, Engineers, Tank Corps, Pioneers and Infantry. Each of the sixteen granite buttresses is surmounted by cast granite figures, saddened and reflecting the loss caused by war.


Dina said...

Amazing how the new building gets squiggly in the water while the monument stays straight.
Thanks for all this information. Wish I had known it when I was inside the memorial (although it was moving and impressive enough even without knowing much).

I just posted about ANZAC Day in Jerusalem. More pictures will follow tomorrow.

Sarah Lulu said...

Beautiful reflective photo and post.

J Bar said...

Great shots inside and out. Wonderful Anzac Day commomoration.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» reads a lot of military history. Unfortunately the sacrifices of the ANZAC troops in both World Wars are not well-known in North America. «Louis» applauds you for this fine post honoring those brave souls who fought for freedom from Australia and New Zealand.

«Louis» wishes he could see this memorial.

Julie said...

Wow! You took shots INSIDE. Even moi - with the hide of an elephant - did not take shots inside.

I went to the Jewish Museum on the Sunday. And did not even take my camera. Will walk up there again in a day or so and see if I can come up with anything creative just from the outside.

Must go inside the War Memorial again, too. Very impressive, as a memorial and as a building.

Emmanuel.K.Bensah II said...

25 April always has great resonance for me, because I remember from high school that that was the day the Anzac war ended. I need to learn more about that war.

I knew of Anzac long before I heard that World Malaria Day is the 25th!

Also, it's a day before my birthday;-)