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 World War Two. 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 World War Two 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.


Address:Birdwood Avenue, Shrine Reserve, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.829837
Long: 144.972663
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945
Designer:George Allen


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


Egypt - LibyaIBYA
New Guinea
Pacific Islands

Right Side Inscription


Red Sea
Persian Gulf
Indian Ocean
Java Sea
Coral Sea


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