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Shinx Inscription Plaque : 7-August-2014
Shinx Inscription Plaque : 7-August-2014

Photographs supplied by Stephen Woods

The Sphinx Memorial commemorates those who died in service or were killed in action in World War One. It was restored and rededicated in 1995.

Hewn from surrounding bush sandstone by 5756 Private William T. Shirley, the Sphinx is approximately 1/80th the size of the Great Sphinx, located on Egypt`s Giza Plateau. William Shirley was a patient of the Lady Davidson Convalescent Hospital for returned World War One Australian veterans. Between 1926 and 1928, an ailing William Shirley laboured at creating his personal memorial to his dead A.I.F comrades. The Sphinx took one and a half years to complete.

Mr. William T. Shirley, creator of the rock carving, "The Sphinx," in Kuring-gai Chase, died at the Prince of Wales Hospital on Tuesday. The carving stands as a permanent memorial to the skill and patience of a brave sufferer, who contracted tuberculosis, following on war service.

Mr. Shirley was a stonemason before he left for the war. At the Lady Davidson Home, Turramurra, which he entered for treatment, the ordinary hospital occupations did not seem to appeal to him. As he was not strong enough to return to his trade, it was suggested that he should carve a rock in Kuring-gai Chase on the model of the Great Sphinx of Giza, which guards the entrance to the Nile Valley. He had seen the Great Sphinx before he went to France, and eagerly set about carving one of much smaller dimensions. On account of his health, Mr. Shirley was not allowed to work more than a couple of hours a day, sometimes less, but he made excellent, progress in cutting down the great rock, and within several months the form of The Sphinx took shape.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 29 August 1929


Address:Sphinx Road, Near Lady Davidson Hospital, North Turramurra, 2074
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.688818
Long: 151.15592
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1926
Front Inscription

To my glorious comrades of the A.I.F by the late W. Shirley
No 5756 Pte. 13th Battalion
Died 27th August 1929

Plaque :

This memorial, following restoration, was rededicated on the 9th November 1995,

In recognition of the selflessness and sacrifices of the members of the A.I.F.

Lest We Forget

1914 - 1918

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