The shrine of remembrance in St Kilda Road Melbourne is dedicated to those who served in ww1 and ww2, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and all engagements where Australian soldiers have risked their lives.
This war memorial was built to honour the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I, but now functions as a memorial to all Australians who have served in any war. It is a site of annual observances for Anzac Day and Remembrance Day , and is one of the largest war memorials in Australia.
Designed by architects Phillip Hudson and James Wardrop, both World War I veterans, the Shrine is in classical style, based on the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus and the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The crowning element at the top of the ziggurat roof references the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates. Built of Tinon granite, the shrine originally consisted of a central sanctuary surrounded by floats. The structure features a commemorative marble stone engraved with the inscription “In the greatest love there is no man”. Once a year, at 11 am on November 11, a ray of sunlight comes down through a hole in the ceiling and illuminates the inscription ‘Love’. Below the sanctuary is a cellar with bronze statues of the soldier’s father and son and a plaque listing all units of the Imperial Australian Army.
The foundation stone was laid on 11 November 1927, by the Governor of Victoria, Lord Somers. Although both the Victorian and Commonwealth governments made contributions, most of the cost of the Shrine was raised in less than six months by public contributions, with Monash as chief fundraiser.
Monash, who was also an engineer, took personal charge of the construction, which began in 1928 and was handled by the contractors Vaughan & Lodge. Monash died in 1931, before the Shrine was finished, but the Shrine was the cause “closest to his heart” in his later years.
Work was finally completed in September 1934, and the Shrine was formally dedicated on 11 November 1934 by the Duke of Gloucester, witnessed by a crowd of over 300,000 people—a “massive turnout” given that Melbourne’s population at the time was approximately 1 million, and, according to Carl Bridge, the “largest crowd ever to assemble in Australia to that date”. During World War II, the sanctuary had a bomb shelter and a shovel was dug into the ground to protect civilians from bombing.
1930s tomb shows the reflecting pond facing the north front, where the WWII courtyard now stands
After World War II: 1945-1985
After World War II, an element had to be added to the temple to commemorate the Australians who died in the Second Great Conflict. Once again, A.S. A contest was held with Fall and E. E. Milston as joint winner. Milston’s design was eventually chosen as one, and the result was a World War II atrium, a large boulder in front of the sanctuary’s northern wall. Eternal Flame, a permanent gas flame to the west of the North Wall; and the World War II Memorial, a 12-foot-tall cemetery a little further to the west. The courtyard replaced a reflecting pool that previously stood in front of the temple. These extensions were inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II on February 28, 1954. Australia’s involvement in wars after the Korean War, the Borneo campaign, the Malaysian emergency, the Indonesian conflict between North Borneo and Sarawak, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, etc. is commemorated by the inscription.
In 1951, the body of Sir Thomas Bremy, an Australian military commander during World War II, was opened to the public for three days in a shrine, after which a state funeral was held. 20,000 people visited while the shrine was consecrated.