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Sydney Cenotaph
CenotaphMartinPlace1 gobeirne
For the war dead of New South Wales from all conflicts
Unveiled 25 April 1927
Location 33°52′03″S 151°12′35″E / 33.8675°S 151.20972°E / -33.8675; 151.20972Coordinates: 33°52′03″S 151°12′35″E / 33.8675°S 151.20972°E / -33.8675; 151.20972
Sydney, Australia
Designed by Sir Bertram Mackennal
"Lest We Forget" & "To Our Glorious Dead"
CenotaphMartinPlace2 gobeirne

Detail of the cenotaph

The Sydney Cenotaph is located in Martin Place and is one of the oldest World War I monuments in the Central Business District.

On the southern side, facing the General Post Office it states "To Our Glorious Dead" and on the Northern side, facing Challis House it states "Lest We Forget." It is used on a regular basis for ceremonies, far more than the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. The Cenotaph is the centre for the Anzac and Armistice Day dawn service ceremonies held in Sydney, regularly drawing thousands of attendees.


Martin Place, adjacent to the General Post Office (GPO), was the location in which the majority of Sydney's soldiers enlisted into the Australian Army for World War I. The Sydney GPO was also the main conduit of news information during World War I.

On 8 March 1926, the Premier of NSW, Jack Lang, indicated that the State Government would provide a sum of ten thousand pounds for the commissioning of Sir Bertram Mackennal to undertake the project of the design and erection of a Cenotaph in Martin Place, to be completed by 25 April 1929. It was completed in 1927. Made of granite, it weighs 20 tonnes.[1]

The statuesEdit

The model for the soldier was Private William Pigott Darby from the 15th Infantry Battalion (Gallipoli & the Western Front; wounded at Pozieres) and 4th Field Ambulance AIF. A native of Monasterevin, Ireland (born 25 Apr 1872), he died in Brisbane on 15 November 1935.

The model for the sailor was Leading Seaman John William Varco. He enlisted on 3 June 1913, served on HMAS Pioneer (1914–1916) in German East Africa and on HMAS Parramatta (1917–1919). He was awarded the Commonwealth Distinguished Service Medal in 1918 (one of 60 Australians to earn this honour) and died in October 1948.


  1. "Sydney Cenotaph". 5 August 1927. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 

External linksEdit

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