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World War Two Memorial ForecourtPrint Page Print this page

24-September-2011 (Graeme Saunders)
24-September-2011 (Graeme Saunders)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders / Sandra Brown

The World War Two Forecourt commemorates the service and sacrifice of Victorians in the Second World War (1939–45). It was dedicated in 1954 and incorporates the flagpoles, Eternal Flame and Cenotaph.

The Forecourt is in the shape of a non-denominational cross. At the pinnacle of the 12.5–metre Cenotaph are six service men in the battle dress of the Navy, Army and Air Force, carrying a bier (a stand used for placing people before burial) on which lies a fallen comrade. The names of the theatres of war where each of the services served in the Second World War (1939–45) are inscribed on the pillar. The Eternal Flame was lit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the 1954 dedication ceremony. The flame is always burning, symbolising eternal life for those who have died. The three flagpoles on the Forecourt fly the Australian flag, Victoria’s flag and armed service and unit association flags in rotation. 

The sculpture on the obelisk was created by George Allen.

Tears rolled down the cheeks of many as the Queen said, "To the glory of God and in grateful memory of the men and women of this State, who served in the second World War, I dedicate this forecourt. And I set alight the flame in honor of all those who died for us." She pressed a small red button in front of her, a puff of white smoke rose into the air, and a wisp of blue flame appeared, there to continue for all time. "I am proud to be able to dedicate this forecourt," the Queen said. "This great memorial and the forecourt will stand together as a permanent reminder of the service and sacrifice given by our men and women in two world wars. "It is for us to seek and repay their devotion by striving to preserve the blessings they won for us and by caring for those who have been left bereaved or afflicted."

The silence was broken by the Last Post. Then came the Long Reveille. The chairman of the Shrine Trustees, Sir Edmund Herring, unveiled the commemorative plaque at the base of the cenotaph. The inscription reads: "To the glory and service of sacrifice, this perpetual flame was lit and this forecourt was dedicated by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second — 28th February, 1954." The Queen entered the Shrine and laid a simple wreath of roses, gladioli and hydrangea on the Stone of Remembrance. The card was inscribed: "The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh."
Weekly Times (Melbourne), 3 March 1954.

Location

Address:Birdwood Avenue, Shrine Reserve, Melbourne, 3000
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.829837
Long: 144.972663
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW2
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945
Monument Designer:George Allen

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 28th February, 1954
Front Inscription

1939 - 45 

Plaque:
World War II Memorial

The World War II Memorial comprises the
Eternal Flame, the Cenotaph, the Flagpoles
and the Forecourt.  It represents a memorial
to those men and women who served in the
1939 - 1945 war.

The names of the theatres of war where
Australians served are shown on the walls
of the Cenotaph.  The statuary surmounting
the column represents six men - two sailors,
two soldiers and two airmen - carrying a
bier on which lies the figure of a dead
comrade draped with the national flag.

The Eternal Flame has burned continuously
in its great bronze bowl since 1954 when it
was lit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
at the opening of the forecourt memorial.


Plaque: 
TO THE GLORY OF SERVICE AND SACRIFICE
THIS PERPETUAL FLAME WAS LIT
AND THIS FORECOURT
WAS DEDICATED
BY
HER MAJESTY
QUEEN ELIZABETH II

28TH FEBRUARY 1954



 

Back Inscription

A.M.F. 

GREECE
CRETE 
EGYPT-LIBYA
SYRIA
MALAYA
NEW GUINEA 
PACIFIC ISLANDS
BORNEO

Right Side Inscription

Cenotaph:
R.A.N. 

ATLANTIC
MEDITERRANEAN
RED SEA
PERSIAN GULF
INDIAN OCEAN 
JAVA SEA 
CORAL SEA 
PACIFIC


 

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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