Books of Remembrance
The Ambulatory contains 42 bronze caskets. The caskets house the 40 Books of Remembrance (38 Australian Imperial Force, one Royal Australian Navy and one book including Victorians who served in other than Australian Forces); the Monarch’s Book of Remembrance and a VIP book.
Each Book of Remembrance has a fine illuminated page and calligraphic script and in total 89,100 names are recorded. Each person recorded was either born or enlisted in Victoria and served overseas or died prior to embarkation. Only First World War
(1914-18) persons are named. The books were completed between 1931 and 1934 by nine calligraphers (seven men and two women).
Due to their age and the need for their preservation, the pages are no longer turned unless a request is made to view a particular name. Names are recorded in alphabetical order and awards and decorations are shown beside the name of the recipient. Rank is not shown, with the exception of Sisters. Where there are identical names, the service number is shown alongside the name.
Stained glass window commemorating Private John Charlton - Boer War memorial
Originally installed in St Paul’s Church in Euroa in 1903, this unique stained glass window commemorates Private John Charlton, of Castle Creek, Victoria, for his service and sacrifice in the Boer War (1899-1901).
It was designed and manufactured in Melbourne by Brooks, Robinson & Co, in an Art Nouveau style.
The window features the helmet of St Paul superimposed over a sword of sacrifice and a shield. These emblems and the inscription below convey community beliefs in service to God in a just cause that led Australians to fight during the Boer War and the First World War.
This window had been replaced by another more figurative design in the 1920s, also dedicated to the memory of Private John Charlton. The original was stored under the church until being rediscovered in the 1980s.
The Charlton Memorial Window Committee, with support from a Victoria Remembers Grant, restored the stained glass window and donated it to the Shrine in 2016.
The Shrine gratefully acknowledges the generous support of The Copland Foundation towards the design and installation of the window.
The Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross (VC) was created by Queen Victoria in 1856 to be awarded to all ranks for bravery in the face of the enemy. It was preceded by the Distinguished Conduct Medal (1854) and the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (1855).
The VC has always been cast from the gunmetal of captured cannons held in secrecy in London. It remains the highest Commonwealth award for valour.
Since 1856 additional Imperial and Australian awards have been created and over time the VC has come to acknowledge only the most extraordinary and conspicuous displays of courage, self-sacrifice and extreme devotion to duty.
The Victoria Cross for Australia, awarded to Australia’s two most recent recipients, was introduced on 15 January 1991. It is identical to the earlier Imperial VC and is cast from the same gunmetal. The new award is conferred by the Governor General of Australia with the approval of the Monarch.
To date 100 Australians have received the VC for bravery in the following conflicts.
- Boer War (1899-1902) six awarded
- First World War (1914-18) sixty-four awarded
- North Russia (1919) two awarded
- Second World War (1939-45) twenty awarded
- Vietnam War (1962-72) four awarded
- Afghanistan (2003 - ) four awarded
Cobbers 2008 by Peter Corlett
Sculptor: Peter Corlett
Bronze cast by Meridian Sculpture Founders
The Cobbers sculpture, created by Peter Corlett as a memorial to Australian service and sacrifice at the Battle of Fromelles, 19 July 1916, stands in the Shrine Reserve. It was the first action on the Western Front and battle proved disastrous. It is regarded as the worst 24 hours in Australian military history. Of these over 5,500 Australian casualties, there were 500 prisoners of war and almost 2,000 dead. In one night at Fromelles the Australian casualties were equivalent to those in the Boer, Korean and Vietnam Wars, combined.
The 5th Australian Division was crippled and unavailable for major action for months. Victoria’s 15th Brigade alone suffered 1,800 casualties, bringing its commander Brigadier-General ‘Pompey’ Elliott to tears. He had anticipated the calamity and tried to have it cancelled, without success.
In the days following the battle, rescuers recovered some 300 wounded men from no-man’s-land. As one soldier carried a wounded companion from the field he heard a call for help: Don’t forget me, Cobber
Proposed by the Friends of the 15th Brigade, this cast of the original - which is located in France - has been reproduced for installation in the Shrine Reserve with the kind permission of the Australian War Graves Commission and jointly funded by the State of Victoria and the Tattersall’s George Adams Foundation.
Father and son 1968 by Ray Ewers
In the centre of the Crypt stands the Father and son sculpture created to honour the courage and sacrifice of two generations of Victorians who served and died in the First and Second World Wars. It is symbolic of the service of many Victorian families, in which the father served in the First World War (1914-18) and the son in the Second World War (1939-45). Father and son was unveiled in 1968 by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Rohan Delacombe. The sculpture was created by Raymond Ewers. The inscription on the sculpture reads:
These figures of father and son honour the courage and sacrifice which links two generations of Victorian Service men and women who served in the World Wars 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.
In both wars fathers, sons and brothers enlisted together and many of the First World War veterans re-enlisted in the Second World War. The two wars were only 20 years apart.
The Permanent Army in 1939 was a very small organisation and without these veterans it would have been difficult to raise the 2nd Australian Imperial Force. Most unit commanders had seen active service in the First World War. It was not until fairly late in the Second World War that Permanent Army soldiers could be released to serve overseas.
Father and son portrays the uniforms worn by First World War and Second World War soldiers. The First World War soldier is in the battledress worn by troops who fought in France. He wears cloth puttees over shorter trousers and bound down to the ankle boots. The same style boots and steel helmet were still being used in the Australian Army until approximately 1969. The Second World War soldier is wearing the uniform of the troops who fought in the jungles of the Pacific. He wears canvas American-style gaiters replacing the puttees, and the iconic slouch hat.
The man with the donkey 1935 by Wallace Anderson
The man with the donkey by sculptor Wallace Anderson, an iconic image of a stretcher-bearer with his donkey carrying a wounded comrade, epitomizes the courage and compassion of the Australian soldier.
Many soldiers wounded at Gallipoli owed their life to the stretcher bearers, who braved enemy fire to rescue men from the frontline and carry them to dressing stations on the beach.
The best known of the bearers was John Simpson Kirkpatrick who commandeered a donkey to aid him as casualties grew and manpower was stretched to its limits. Simpson, as he was known, was at the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and was killed on 19 May 1915. His story came to exemplify the tenacity and courage of all Anzacs at Gallipoli.
Miss Philomena Robertson of the Red Cross Society was the driving force which led to the erection of the sculpture. In raising funds for the sculpture, Miss Robertson described it as ‘a Mothers’ tribute’.
Crypt colours and guidons
The Shrine was dedicated on 11 November 1934. In 1940 the Shrine Trustees proposed that the Crypt would be an appropriate place in which to lay up the Colours of disbanded Victorian regiments. This idea came to fruition on 4 October 1953, when the 24 Battalion Colours were the first to be laid up. By December 1953 the Colours of the 21st, 22nd and 29rd Battalions had also been lodged in the Crypt.
The Colours of a cavalry regiment are traditionally in the form of a Guidon or swallow – tailed flag which derived its name from the French Guyd-Homme (Guide Man), who would lead by carrying the flag.
The Colours and guidons have been given into the custody of the Shrine Trustees at solemn ceremonies conducted in accordance with long established traditions. Light Horse guidons date from the 1850s and most recently, in 2006, five guidons were laid up. The Crypt Colours originate from 27 Victorian units of the Australian Army and represent some 25% of all Victorian Regimental Colours. Other Colours are laid up elsewhere in Victoria and five are held in the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
Colours and Guidons laid up in the Crypt
- 60th Infantry Battalion (The Heidelberg Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 60th Infantry Battalion (The Heidelberg Regiment) King’s Colour
- 60th Infantry Battalion (Brunswick and Carlton Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 59th Infantry Battalion (The Shepparton Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 59th Infantry Battalion (The Shepparton Regiment) King’s Colour
- 58th Infantry Battalion (The Essendon Rifles Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 58th Infantry Battalion (The Essendon Rifles Regiment) King’s Colour
- 57th Infantry Battalion (The Merri Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 57th Infantry Battalion (The Merri Regiment) King’s Colour
- 52nd Infantry Battalion (The Gippsland Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 52nd Infantry Battalion (The Gippsland Regiment) King’s Colour
- 46th Infantry Battalion (The Brighton Rifles) Regimental Colour
- 46th Infantry Battalion (The Brighton Rifles) King’s Colour
- 39th Infantry Battalion (The Hawthorn and Kew Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 39th Infantry Battalion (The Hawthorn and Kew Regiment) King’s Colour
- 37th Infantry Battalion (The Henty Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 37th Infantry Battalion (The Henty Regiment) King’s Colour
- 29th Infantry Battalion (The East Melbourne Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 29th Infantry Battalion (The East Melbourne Regiment) King’s Colour
- 24th Infantry Battalion (The Kooyong Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 24th Infantry Battalion (The Kooyong Regiment) King’s Colour
- 22nd Infantry Battalion (The Richmond Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 22nd Infantry Battalion (The Richmond Regiment) King’s Colour
- 22nd Battalion The Royal Victorian Regiment Queen’s Colour
- 22nd Battalion The Royal Victorian Regiment Regimental Colour
- 21st Infantry Battalion (The Victorian Rangers) Regimental Colour
- 21st Infantry Battalion (The Victorian Rangers) King’s Colour
- 8th Infantry Battalion (The North West Victorian Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 8th Infantry Battalion (The North West Victorian Regiment) King’s Colour
- 6th Infantry Battalion (The Royal Melbourne Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 6th Infantry Battalion (The Royal Melbourne Regiment) King’s Colour
- 6th Infantry Battalion (The City of Melbourne Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 6th Infantry Battalion (The City of Melbourne Regiment) Queen’s Colour
- 2nd/6th Infantry Battalion (6th Bn 1st Australian Imperial Force) King’s Banner
- 1st/5th Aust Infantry Regiment (1st Bn Militia Infantry Brigade Vic) King’s Banner
- Melbourne University Rifle Regiment Regimental Colour
- Melbourne University Rifle Regiment King’s Colour
- 20th Light Horse Regiment (Victorian Light Horse) Guidon
- 19th Light Horse Regiment (Yarrowee Light Horse) Guidon
- 17th Light Horse Regiment (Bendigo Light Horse) Guidon
- 13th Light Horse Regiment (Gippsland Light Horse) Guidon
- 8th Light Horse Regiment (Indi Light Horse) Guidon
- 4th Light Horse Regiment (Corangamite Light Horse) Guidon
Colours on display in the Hall of columns
- 14th Infantry Battalion (The Prahran Regiment) Regimental Colour
- 14th Infantry Battalion (The Prahran Regiment) King’s Colour
Sovereign's Colour - 14th Battalion (Prahran/Footscray Regiment)
The Sovereign’s Colour of every battalion is the flag of the Great Union Jack, the Imperial Colour of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (an amalgamation of the crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick) on a blue field, as approved by Queen Victoria in 1900.
In the centre of the Queen’s Colour there is a crimson circle surmounted by the Imperial Crown. Upon the circle the gazetted title is embroidered in gold and also, if desired, the Territorial Title of the Battalion. This Colour is being progressively replaced in Australian units by a revised Colour based on the Australian National Flag and can be seen on the 22 Battalion Royal Victoria Colour, which hangs near the left rear wall in the Crypt.
This Sovereign Colour was presented to the 14th Battalion at a ceremony in Melbourne on 7 August 1920 by His Excellency The Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief, Sir Ronald Munro Fergusson. Army units are entitled to display up to ten Second World War (1939-45) Battle Honours on their Sovereign Colour, regardless of how many were awarded. Battle Honours for the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) were approved in 1961.
The ten Battle Honours displayed on this Sovereign Colour come from a combination of honours earned by the 2/14 and the 14/32 Infantry Battalion (2nd AIF).
14/32nd Battalion (Prahran/Footscray Regiment)
With Japan’s entry into the Second World War in 1941 the 14th was one of the Citizan Military Forces (CMF) Battalions called up and placed on defensive duties around Melbourne. In September 1942 the 14th and 32nd CMF Battalions merged and became the 14th/32nd Infantry Battalion (Prahran/Footscray Regiment).
When battalions were merged in this manner each unit continued to maintain its own traditions. This meant that when the 14th/32nd Battalion went on parade they presented with four Colours; the Sovereign and Regimental Colours for both the 14th and the 32nd Battalions.
Regimental Colour - 14th Battalion (Prahran/Footscray Regiment)
The Regimental Colour for Royal regiments is dark blue and for all other regiments it is dark green. The Regimental Colour bears a centrally placed design comprising of:
The regimental badge or crest embroidered in gold or silver (as appropriate) on a crimson background. The badge or crest is modified by omission of the gazetted or territorial title of the regiment, the Regimental motto and any wreath or crown incorporated in the design.
A crimson circle surrounds the badge or crest, upon the circle the gazetted title is inscribed in gold (in addition, if desired, the Territorial title) of the battalion.
The centre design is encompassed within a wreath of wattle (representing Australia) and it is tied with a gold knot at the bottom centre. The whole design is surmounted by an imperial crown.
In addition the following may appear on the Colour:
The motto of the regiment embroidered in gold on a crimson scroll. The regimental colour patch as worn by the active service battalions of the regiment in WWI or WWII with a battleship grey edging where appropriate.
The authorised Battle Honours of the regiment are embroidered in black lettering on gold
scrolls and felled onto the colour.
Colours have been embroidered with Battle Honours since 1811, providing battalions and their forerunners with official acknowledgement for achievements in specific wars or operations.
Battle Honours for the First World War (1914-18) were awarded in 1927 and regardless of how many were awarded, a maximum of 10 Honours could be emblazoned on a Regimental Colour. The 14th Battalion displays an 11th Honour, South Africa 1899-1902, inherited from the 2nd Battalion Infantry Brigade (Victoria) for actions during the Boer War (1899-1902).
Although there are strict guidelines for the manufacture, display and parade of Colours there are often deviations from the rule. In 1928 the Adjutant General reported to the Military Board that the 14th Battalion was one of five which incorrectly displayed on the Colours the word ‘Battalion’ instead of ‘Infantry’ when parading before His Royal Highness, The Duke of York, when he opened Federal Parliament in Canberra in 1927. This detail remains incorrect.
Reviewed 06 October 2020