The Australian War Memorial (Part 1 – Remembering the Fallen)

Ok, here we go.  First content-focused post.

I’ll start out by sharing some images from the Australian War Memorial in Australia’s capital city, Canberra.  My two boys and I recently visited Canberra and southern New South Wales on our now annual ‘boys tour’ taken towards the end of the long summer school holidays.

Upfront, I must say I was highly impressed with the Memorial.  It is really two features – a memorial and remembrance section, and a military museum.  Both are very well designed and managed.  We stayed for around three hours, but to do the museum justice, a whole day could easily be spent there.

On arrival, visitors first ascend a broad set of steps.  Turning around at the the top of the steps, a great view of Anzac Parade and Parliament House is available.  Moving into the Memorial, we then stepped into the cloistered commemorative courtyard with the Hall of Memory prominent at the far end, and along both sides, a Roll of Honour listing the names of each of the 100,000+ Australians who have died for our country.  The centrepiece is the Pool of Reflection with the Eternal Flame at one end.

The architecture, the carefully tended gardens, and the removal of outside traffic noise act together to immediately instill a sense of calm and contemplation.

The architecture itself feels quite timeless.  I had thought that the Memorial was built in the 1980’s, but subsequent investigation established that the commemorative area was constructed as early as 1941 and was initially intended to be a memorial to those who lost their lives during World War I.  It later became a memorial for all wars in which Australians have served.  Subsequent extensive construction saw side galleries and the Anzac Hall added in the 1980’s and 1990’s to house an extensive of war relics.

In this post, I’ll share some images of the commemorative area, and will return to the museum in subsequent posts.

Australian War Memorial Entrance

Entering the Memorial

Anzac Parade and Parliament House

Looking back down Anzac Parade and across Lake Burley Griffin to Parliament House

Inside the Commemorative Courtyard

Inside the Commemorative Courtyard

The Eternal Flame

The Eternal Flame

The Roll of Honour

The Roll of Honour, this wall for the 60,000+ souls who perished during the First World War.

One of the bronzes representing each arm of the Services

One of the bronzes representing each arm of the Services

Inside the Hall of Memory

Inside the Hall of Memory

The domed  ceiling of the Hall of Memory

The domed ceiling of the Hall of Memory

Tome of the Unknown Australian Soldier

Tome of the Unknown Australian Soldier

Want to learn more?  Visit the Australian War Memorial website.

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