Sydney Cenotaph
The Sydney Cenotaph is located in Martin Place and is one of the oldest World War I
Military history of Australia during World War I
In Australia, the outbreak of World War I was greeted with considerable enthusiasm. Even before Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, the nation pledged its support for the Empire alongside other Commonwealth nations and almost immediately began preparations to send forces overseas to...

 war monuments in the Central Business District.

On the southern side, facing the General Post Office
General Post Office (Sydney)
The General Post Office is a landmark building in Sydney, Australia. It is located at the western end of Martin Place , between George and Pitt Streets. The main facade stretches some 100 metres down Martin Place...

 it states "To Our Glorious Dead" and on the Northern side, facing Challis House it states "Lest We Forget." It is used on a regular basis for ceremonies, far more than the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The Cenotaph
A cenotaph is an "empty tomb" or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been interred elsewhere. The word derives from the Greek κενοτάφιον = kenotaphion...

 is the centre for the Anzac and Armistice Day
Armistice Day
Armistice Day is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day...

 dawn service ceremonies held in Sydney, regularly drawing thousands of attendees.


Martin Place, adjacent to the General Post Office (GPO), was the location in which the majority of Sydney's soldiers enlisted into the Australian Army
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

 for World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. The Sydney GPO was also the main conduit of news information during World War I.

On 8 March 1926, the Premier of NSW, Jack Lang
Jack Lang (Australian politician)
John Thomas Lang , usually referred to as J.T. Lang during his career, and familiarly known as "Jack" and nicknamed "The Big Fella" was an Australian politician who was Premier of New South Wales for two terms...

, indicated that the State Government would provide a sum of ten thousand pounds for the commissioning of Sir Bertram Mackennal to undertake the project of the design and erection of a Cenotaph in Martin Place, to be completed by 25 April 1929. It was completed in 1927. Made of granite, it weighs 20 tonnes.

The statues

The model for the soldier was Private William Pigott Darby from the 15th Infantry Battalion (Gallipoli & the Western Front
Western Front (World War I)
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...

; wounded at Pozieres
Battle of Pozières
The Battle of Pozières was a two week struggle for the French village of Pozières and the ridge on which it stands, during the middle stages of the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Though British divisions were involved in most phases of the fighting, Pozières is primarily remembered as an Australian battle...

) and 4th Field Ambulance AIF. A native of Monasterevin, Ireland (born 25 Apr 1872), he died in Brisbane on 15 November 1935.

The model for the sailor was Leading Seaman John William Varco. He enlisted on 3 June 1913, served on HMAS Pioneer
HMAS Pioneer
HMAS Pioneer was a Pelorus class light cruiser built for the Royal Navy at the end of the 19th century. She was transferred to the fledgling Royal Australian Navy in 1912...

 (1914–1916) in German East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

 and on HMAS Parramatta (1917–1919). He was awarded the Commonwealth Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal (United Kingdom)
The Distinguished Service Medal was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the Royal Navy and members of the other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, up to and including the rank of Chief Petty Officer, for bravery and resourcefulness on active service...

 in 1918 (one of 60 Australians to earn this honour) and died in October 1948.

See also

  • Cenotaph
    A cenotaph is an "empty tomb" or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been interred elsewhere. The word derives from the Greek κενοτάφιον = kenotaphion...

  • Australian War Memorial
    Australian War Memorial
    The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of all its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia...

     - Australia's national war memorial and museum.
  • ANZAC War Memorial
    ANZAC War Memorial
    The ANZAC War Memorial, completed in 1934, is the main commemorative military monument of Sydney, Australia. It was designed by C. Bruce Dellit, with the exterior adorned with monumental figural reliefs and sculptures by Rayner Hoff....

     - Sydney's main war memorial.
  • Hobart Cenotaph
    Hobart Cenotaph
    Hobart Cenotaph, , is the main commemorative military monument for the Australian state of Tasmania. It is located in the capital Hobart in a prominent position on the Queens Domain, on a small rise overlooking the city and River Derwent...

     - Hobart's main memorial.
  • Shrine of Remembrance
    Shrine of Remembrance
    The Shrine of Remembrance, located in Kings Domain on St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia was built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I and is now a memorial to all Australians who have served in war...

     - Melbourne's main war memorial.
  • Shrine of Remembrance
    Shrine of Remembrance, Brisbane
    The Shrine of Remembrance is located in ANZAC Square, between Ann Street and Adelaide Street, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. With its 'Eternal Flame', the Shrine is a war memorial dedicated to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps ....

    - Brisbane's main war memorial.

External links

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