ANZAC War Memorial

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ANZAC Memorial
ANZAC War Memorial.jpg
ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney
For the Australian Imperial Force dead of World War I
Unveiled 24 November 1934 (1934-11-24)[1]
Location 33°52′32″S 151°12′39″E / 33.87556°S 151.21083°E / -33.87556; 151.21083Coordinates: 33°52′32″S 151°12′39″E / 33.87556°S 151.21083°E / -33.87556; 151.21083
Hyde Park, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Designed by
Type Built
Criteria a., b., c., d., f., g.
Designated 23 April 2010
Reference no. 01822

The ANZAC War Memorial, completed in 1934, is the main commemorative military monument of Sydney, Australia. Listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register,[2] the Art Deco monument was designed by C. Bruce Dellit, with the exterior adorned with monumental figural reliefs and sculptures by Rayner Hoff.[3]

The memorial is located at the southern extremity of Hyde Park on the eastern edge of the Sydney central business district, and it is the focus of commemoration ceremonies on Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and other important occasions.

It was built as a memorial to the Australian Imperial Force of World War I. Fund raising for a memorial began on 25 April 1916, the first anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landing at Anzac Cove for the Battle of Gallipoli.[4] It was opened on 24 November 1934 by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester.


A competition for the design of the memorial was commissioned in July 1929 and a month later the prize-winning entries were announced by the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Philip Game.[5] Third prize was awarded to Peter Kaad, second prize to John D. Moore and the winner was Bruce Dellit. The successful contractors for the building works were Kell & Rigby.[6]

The building is constructed of concrete, with an exterior cladding of pink granite, and consists of a massed square superstructure with typically Art Deco setbacks and buttresses, punctuated on each side by a large arched window of yellow stained glass, and crowned with a ziggurat-inspired stepped roof. It is positioned atop a cruciform pedestal within which are located administrative offices and a small museum.

The interior is largely faced in white marble, and features a domed ceiling adorned with 120,000 gold stars – one for each of those men and women from New South Wales who served during World War I. Access to the main hall is provided via broad stairways on each side of the building's north-south axis, while ground-level doorways on the east and west sides offer entry to the lower section.

The main focus of the interior is Rayner Hoff's monumental bronze sculpture of a deceased youth, representing a soldier, held aloft on his shield by a caryatid – three female figures, representing his mother, sister and wife. The male figure's nudity was considered shocking at the time of the monument's opening, and it is said to be the only such representation of a naked male form within any war memorial. Two other even more controversial figural sculptures designed by Hoff—one featuring a naked female figure—were never installed on the eastern and western faces of the structure as intended, partly as a result of opposition from high ranking representatives of the Catholic Church.

The building's exterior is adorned with several bronze friezes, carved granite relief panels and twenty monumental stone figural sculptures symbolising military personnel, also by Hoff.

Immediately to the north of the ANZAC Memorial is a large rectangular "Lake of Reflections" flanked by rows of poplars. The poplars, not native to Australia, symbolise the areas of France in which Australian troops fought. Original plans called for the construction of similar pools on each of the other sides of the building, but these were never built.

A ten-metre-long bronze relief, over the west door by Rayner Hoff.
The other 10 m (32.8 ft) long bronze relief, over the east door. These two sculptures illustrate the functions and activities of elements of the Australian Imperial Force overseas.[7]
The memorial at night


See also


  1. ^ "ANZAC WAR MEMORIAL Ceremony in Sydney OPENING BY DUKE SYDNEY". The Daily News. LIV., (18, 624). Western Australia. 24 November 1934. p. 3 (LATE CITY). Retrieved 1 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "ANZAC Memorial". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01822. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  3. ^ "History". Anzac Memorial. Department of Premier and Cabinet, New South Wales Government. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Sydney". Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  5. ^ "MODEL WAR MEMORIAL". Toodyay Herald (18). Western Australia. 5 September 1930. p. 4. Retrieved 1 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "How the Memorial came into being" Returned and Services League of Australia (NSW), Retrieved 15 February 2012
  7. ^ "ANZAC War Memorial Hyde Park". Art Deco Sydney. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.


 This article incorporates text by New South Wales State Heritage Register available under the CC BY 3.0 AU licence.


  • Bayer, Patricia, Art Deco Architecture: Design, Decoration and Detail from the Twenties and Thirties, Thames & Hudson, London, 1992
  • Edwards, Deborah, This Vital Flesh: The Sculpture of Rayner Hoff and His School, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1999
  • Hedger, Michael, Public Sculpture in Australia, Craftsman House, Sydney, NSW, 1995
  • Inglis, K.S., Sacred Places: War Memorials in the Australian Landscape, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1998
  • Sturgeon, Graeme, The Development of Australian Sculpture: 1788 – 1975, Thames & Hudson, London, 1978
  • Van Daele, Patrick and Roy Lumly, A Spirit of Progress: Art Deco Architecture in Australia, Craftsman House, Sydney, NSW, 1997

External links

  • Official website
  • Anzac War Memorial 3D animation on YouTube
  • The Anzac Memorial Pool of Reflection – Description of the memorial from the City of Sydney website. (Last accessed 2 August 2013)
  • Peace Offering that Shocked the Church – A newspaper article that discusses the controversy surrounding the never-installed sculptures Rayner Hoff designed for the Anzac Memorial
  • National salute needed for Aussie Diggers – Information on a proposal by the City of Sydney to install the second pond of reflection on the southern side of the memorial as originally intended
  • Laila Ellmoos – City of Sydney History Program (2008). "Anzac War Memorial Hyde Park". Dictionary of Sydney. Dictionary of Sydney Trust. Retrieved 7 October 2015. [CC-By-SA]
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