Talk:Shrine of Remembrance

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Could we possibly get some pictures of the recent redevelopment? A picture of inside the building would also be great. Might need some juggling though with so many pictures already. T.P.K. 09:50, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Unauthorised photography is not allowed inside the Shrine, and to use the Shrine's own photos (see the Website) would presumably require someone's permission. Adam 10:07, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"there are no memorials to individuals at the Shrine itself."

Doesn't Simpson qualify? And I understood the Cenotaph to be a memorial to all three WW2 service arms, not just the RAN. Geoff/Gsl 10:13, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • I think the Simpson statue is some distance from the Shrine itself. It should be mentioned, however.
  • You may be right about the pillar. It has "RAN" inscribed on the north face (see photo), and nothing except the sword on the east face. It is possible that it has the Army and the RAAF on the other two faces, but I confess I didn't look. If you know this for a fact, change the caption and the text accordingly. Adam 10:20, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Simpson can't be more than 20 metres from the new east entrance to the Visitor Centre. I don't know what the boundaries of the "Shrine" are though. He's closer to the Shrine building than the Cenotaph is. I get the point of your sentence though.

As for the Cenotaph, the Shrine website says "The 12.5 metre pillar in the Forecourt supports statuary representing six men in the battle-dress of the Navy, Army and Air Services, carrying a bier on which lies a dead comrade." but I have no good recollection of what is inscribed on it, other than the face near the Eternal Flame says "1939-45". Geoff/Gsl 10:32, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Ah, then you are correct, and I will change the text. I suppose it would be odd for the RAN to have such a huge monument and the other services not. Adam 10:58, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Does the battle honour inscription really read "Rumani"? I know that's what the website says but it should probably be "Romani" as in "Battle of Romani". Also, excuse the criticism but I think some of the photos need to be retaken without the shadows. In particular the Eternal Flame and the south view. Also I would drop the photo of the west wall (the inscription is illegible and is quoted in the text). Perhaps a photo of "The Driver" or "Wipers" instead. Geoff/Gsl 07:45, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Romani is certainly the more common spelling, but it may not have been when the Shrine was built: as with Romania, Rumania and Roumania, fashions in spelling of placenames change over time. I'm sorry you don't like my photos - I thought the evening light was rather evocative. I may go back and take some more. I didn't take photos of the Driver and Wipers statues because they are copies of originals in London. Adam 01:42, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I have some writings from 1919 that use "Romani" so I am pretty sure it has never been anything else but until I check for myself, I can't say what is used on the Shrine. Re: the photos, I was just making a suggestion. You evidently didn't like my photo but that's OK, I didn't either. Geoff/Gsl 04:52, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I've checked for myself and "Rumani" it is. Geoff/Gsl 06:14, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

there must b an error, the title talks of 114,000 dead of victoria, and 60,000 dead from all of austrilia, how can the national total be less than the state total? or am i being stupid?

It's the 114,000 who served, not died. Adam 02:20, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The wording is odd though, a memorial implies honoring the dead. I would refer to the site as a monument if it is implied that some of those honored are still alive.

I wasn't aware of this semantic distinction between a monument and a memorial. It is officially a shrine. Adam 06:39, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

another reference[edit]

I just added the sculptor's name and another reference. There is a very interesting cartoon on page 316 of that book about the Shrine. However it needs to clear copyright first and since the book is published by . . . .well , think about it. Oh yes, I like the photos, think the shadows add drama. Carptrash 05:06, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

photo of interior[edit]

existing photo

I recently replaced the existing photo of the interior of the Shrine with a higher res image. It got reverted, and I'd like to discuss the pros vs cons of each of the two photos. Speaking for my own photo, (and to explain why I think it is superior) it has the Australian flag (a good feature), contains pretty much all of the center box. It also has the silver pillar on the far right (I'm not sure if this is significant) and I also think the lack of people is better. Please share your comments --Fir0002 11:28, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

As the photographer of the original image, I am probably a little biased. I think both images have their merits, but I do feel mine is perhaps more suitable as an interior photo. One, it shows a greater angle of view. Two, it gives it a sense of scale of the interior as you can see two participating visitors in relation to it. Diliff | (Talk) (Contribs) 16:26, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I prefer the first one. 08:01, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
As do I.--cj | talk 06:51, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I prefer the first photo; the angle and the presence of visitors improves it. (I know I always try to take photos without people but I intellectually know that people in the photo often improve it because they do give scale and their presence can improve the composition.)--A Y Arktos 10:17, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Disambig link[edit]

When a primary topic disambiguation is employed, then the primary article must link to the disambiguation page else there's no point in it existing. Please see Wikipedia:Disambiguation. Thanks, --cj | talk 06:51, 17 January 2006 (UTC)


"The Shrine of Remembrance, located in St Kilda Road, Melbourne, is one of the largest war memorials in Australia." Can anyone name a larger one? Adam 10:08, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra?--A Y Arktos\talk 10:19, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Possibly, but of course the AWM is much more than a war memorial. It is a museum and an archival centre as well. We need a criterion of "large" to measure them by. Adam 10:33, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

The AWM doesn't call itself a military museum or an archive - just a memorial - we remember in different ways. I don't think size is always a useful comparison - bigger does not equal better or more meaningful but ...--A Y Arktos\talk 10:44, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

In terms of physical size of the building - which is the only practical measurement criterion, Canberra is largest, followed by Melbourne and then Sydney. --Centauri 11:52, 8 August 2006 (UTC)


The article discusses the absence of religious elements, yet the above quotation appears to be John 15:13-14, which in full reads thus: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. It is thus a very apt quotation. It would be worth checking that this is indeed the source of the quotation. It would also be useful to provide attribution for the quotation in the article. At present the quotation is just given with neither attribution nor explanation. -- B.D.Mills  (T, C) 00:29, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Now included, thanks--Melburnian (talk) 13:57, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
I totally agree - an image of the marble stone with the text would be good also. Anon —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:11, 23 April 2008 (UTC)


I've started adding references, and I should be able to add most of the others tomorrow. It is slower going than I expected, but I'm rewording sections to match as I go, and one or two bits don't seem to be in keeping with the refs I can find, so I'm having to make bigger changes there. Where I don't have a specific reference at the moment I'm adding fact tags, although I think many of those can be found, particularly in the biographies of Monash which I don't yet have access to. Thus while the fact tags are cluttering things up at the moment, I doubt that they will stay for too long. - Bilby (talk) 15:32, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Unknown Soldier[edit]

I've removed the reference to Monash opposing the inclusion of an Unknown Soldier to the shrine, as the two references I have make no reference to Monash on this issue, instead focusing (when they focus on anyone) on Treloar and Lawson. However, I suspect that Monash would have had something to say - and this would probably be covered in one of the biographies of Monash that I don't currently have access to. - Bilby (talk) 02:12, 13 July 2008 (UTC)


I've had a shot at restructuring the page - I haven't changed any content (so it will be easy to revert), just moved it around and added headings. The photos now tend to be attached to the relevant parts of the text, although I think they need work. At any rate, are other editors happy with this? If not, feel free to try something better, or just revert it to how it was. :) - Bilby (talk) 00:52, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

I should add, as this was a reasonably bold change, I won't edit for a bit until I know if consensus is towards reverting or not, just to make the process simpler. :) - Bilby (talk) 00:57, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
A restructure was much needed, keep on going with your good work, I say. --Melburnian (talk) 02:16, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
If you're happy with it, then, I'll leave the new structure in place and continue from there. Thanks! - Bilby (talk) 02:38, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Gallery and Infobox[edit]

Given the number of pictures floating around in Commons, is it worth adding a gallery section? And is it worth having an infobox? Once the rest of the article is done the lead will need to be rewritten, and doing so will mean that most of the infobox informtion will be covered there, but I presume it is worth thinking about. - Bilby (talk) 16:45, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I think that when an artice has featured status and is quite long, as this is, a gallery is not needed as there is sufficient space to display the most relevant photos, with the rest accessible via the commons link . An infobox seems a good idea - Template:Infobox Military Memorial is used at Australian War Memorial Melburnian (talk) 02:35, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
That makes sense. I've added the Infobox - if nothing else, it makes better use of the space than the photo on its own did, which was looking lonely due to the whitespace with navigation box. - Bilby (talk) 11:16, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it does help balance the page Melburnian (talk) 14:25, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Great Depression[edit]

I've removed:

The onset of the Great Depression at the end of 1929 slowed construction work on the Shrine. But from 1930 onwards the Depression actually assisted the Shrine's progress, because large numbers of unemployed men were hired at sustenance wages to work on the project as a form of unemployment relief. Many of these were war veterans who welcomed the chance to help finish the Shrine.

After much digging, I can't find any source that specifically discusses the Great Depression, beyond to mention how impressive it was that money was raised during that time, or that the Shrine provided work to some people. So for now I've removed it, but I'll put it back if I dig up a source. :) - Bilby (talk) 14:03, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

All I could find is this from a radio transcript: [1] "They used the unemployed ex-servicemen to build the hill on which the Shrine of Remembrance stands, and that's Monash's enduring monument, and it was also a practical way of dealing with the problem of the unemployed." But I'd like to see a firmer source with more detail to support the removed paragraph prior to any reinstatement. --Melburnian (talk) 14:29, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Granite or Granodiorite?[edit]

see Tynong and Granodiorite - The Shrine is made from Tynong granodiorite which explains the rust now appearing from leached iron from the hornblende component (however if references all say,loosely, granite then maybe it should stay??) (Epistemos (talk) 03:09, 24 July 2008 (UTC)).

  • There was only one reference that mentioned Granodiorite that I dug up. All of the others (by all I mean about 6) mentioned just granite. Not knowing anything about geology (I studied it at uni, but only for the dinosaurs, so I ignored the boring rock stuff), my assumption was that granite was a more generic term that, in common usage, encompassed granodiorite. I may well be wrong in this. :) I suspect that it is worth confirming either way. - Bilby (talk) 10:31, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

According to Taylor[edit]

The article by Taylor has been quoted in the article, and while Taylor has been acknowledged as the source of the information, he has not been acknowledged as the source of the precise wording. Taylor's writing is colourful and journalistic, and may not express exactly what took place.

There is a statement (quoted direct) that a particular inscription was objected to because it contained no Christian (or indeed religious) reference. While it may well be true that people objected because the reference was not specifically Christian, it contains blatantly Judaeo-Christian references, and only someone who is exceeding ignorant of the Bible could fail to recognise them.

The notion that one is "on Holy Ground" pertains to the story of Moses and the Burning Bush. The reference to "remembrance" comes directly from "The Last Supper" and Jesus' words "do this in remembrance of me". It is possible these two notions have become so imbedded in Western thought that the critics simply failed to perceive them.

Also: I have removed the repeated emphasis and implication that the decoration of the Shrine was somehow un-Christian. This is not the case. Ever since Early Christian artists adorned the catacombs of Rome, Classical motifs have been utilised to express Christian values. For example: The idea of using a person to symbolise a human quality is a Classical one that has been widely applied to Christian Art. A Town Hall might display figures representing Peace, Prosperity, Industry and Agriculture. The forms might derive from Classical antiquity, but the intended meaning has nothing whatsoever to do with paganism. A Christian church will have stained glass windows with three figures very similar to those at the town hall, representing the Christian qualities of Faith, Hope and Charity. (Faith with a cross, Hope with an anchor and Charity with children, sometimes breast-feeding).

It follows that if a sculpture on such a memorial was to pictorially represent the heroic qualities associated with War, then virtually the only way to do it was by the use of symbolic figures. The traditional nature of such symbolism, in Western Society, generally stems from Classical models. On the other hand, the main, the most significant inscription, the focal point of the entire complex refers to none other than Jesus Christ. "Greater love hath no man....".

A few more points:

  • Art Deco, the prevalent style, was a Classical revival style that reacted against the organic style of Art Nouveau.
  • Art Deco drew on Ancient Classical styles of various sorts, including Greek, Roman and Egyptian.
  • Classicism (of one sort or another) had long been considered the appropriate style for something monumental and secular.
  • The Mausoleum on which the Shrine was based was believed to be the greatest such funeral monument to have existed in Western Civilisation.
  • Sydney's war memorial was under construction at the same time. Unlike the Shrine of Remembrance, it follows no clearly identifiable Ancient model. It is a new and highly original creation. While there may have been some critism of the sculpture at Melbourne's Shrine, at least it followed the precedent of being Classical. Not like Raynor Hoff's work in Sydney which set ultra-modern low-reliefs of people on the battle front around the buildings and placed, high up at the corners, monolithic, Henry-Moorish figures of servicemen and women in all there lumpish, boring, uniformed anonymity. Raynor Hoff's bronze sculpture of the naked, symbolically-crucified body of a serviceman born on a shield and sword by women standing like a single column is one of the most challenging memorials to war ever created, particularly since the figure is smooth and youthful, closer in type to Donatello's David than to any Classical sculpture. There is a direct reference to Christ in this sculpture, but it is alarmingly out of context.
  • Far away in London, there was general outcry because the gunners' memorial was simply too realistic altogether. It dared to show a very realistically sculptured soldier lying dead with his feet and one hand protruding from under the duffle coat with which he has been shouded.

Amandajm (talk) 06:33, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Current Development[edit]

Is it time to insert some reference to the current development?Lexysexy (talk) 11:28, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

I've added a mention of the upcoming "Galleries of Remembrance" project.--Melburnian (talk) 01:20, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
ThanksLexysexy (talk) 02:21, 30 May 2013 (UTC)