Italian National OssarioPrint Page Print this page

Italian National Ossario : 20-September-2012
Italian National Ossario : 20-September-2012

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The “Ossario” mausoleum commemorates the Italian Prisoners of War and civilian detainees from World War Two who were interned in camps within Australia.

During the Second World War 4,000 Italian, German and Japanese Priosners of War were detained at Murchison. Those who died at Murchison were buried in the local cemetery but floods in 1956 did major damage to the graves.

Mr Luigi Gigliotti persuaded Italian families living in the Goulburn Valley to pay for the building of a mausoleum - the Ossario. He also managed to persuade the authorities to bury all the Italian Prisoners of War and civilian detainees who died in Australian prison camps in the mausoleum.

The mausoleum was completed in 1961 and designed by Victorian architect, Charles Hollinshed.  It had to be rebuilt in 1966 due to further flood damage.  It is built of Castlemaine stone with Roman roof tiles, a campanile and an altar of Italian marble. Each year, on Remembrance Day, mass is celebrated before a large gathering.

Inside the Ossario are a number of plaques and the bodies that were retrieved from the graves afffected by the 1956 flooding. 

Note : The Ossario is only opened on a limited number of days during the year and on other days is locked.  Monument Australia thanks John Gribben of the Greater Shepparton City Council for organising access to obtain the monument photographs.


Address:Willoughby Street, Cemetery, Murchison, 3610
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.627564
Long: 145.223417
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945
Designer:Anthony Rene Stella


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 4th November, 1966
Front Inscription

United in eternal rest. Chapels Murchison - El Alamein 1942 - 1992 Twinning El Alamein - Murchsion 1942 - 1992

Wished and presented from the Federation of National Association of Italian Ex-service and War Veterans Australia. Federal Directive Council President Caviliere Guido Giacia.

The Italian community in collaboration with National Association of Italian Ex-service and War Veterans, The Embassy and the Italian Consul-General in Melbourne presented this project to The General Commissariat for the Honoured and Fallen in Rome, that approved it and provided the necessary funds for the construction of this work, that restores to perpetual memory of present and future generations the honour of our soldiers who died in imprisonment here in Australia in the service of Italy.

Melbourne, 4 November 1966

Source: MA,SKP,CRE
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design