Cenotaph in Martin Place
Sydney, Australia

The Cenotaph in Martin Place, in the centre of Sydney's Central Business District. This was initially an ANZAC Memorial in commemoration and remembrance of those who served during WW1 but is now regarded as the central memorial for commemoration of the sacrifice endured in all conflicts. It is the focus in Sydney of the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, held on 25th April each year in the predawn twilight, the time when in 1915 the Australian and New Zealand forces first landed on the shores of Gallipoli during an ill-fated campaign in the Turkish Dardanelles. 

ANZAC Day commemorates the first significant military action during WW1 by the forces of Australia and New Zealand as independent national identities. ANZAC is an abbreviation for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day Dawn Services are held throughout Australia and in many places around the world each year. 

The Cenotaph was dedicated in 1927, on 8th August being the date in 1918 on which the AIF in France took a pivotal role in the battle that was later described as marking the beginning of the final German defeat in the Great War of 1914-1918. The bronze figures were unveiled on 21 February 1929 to coincide with the date on which the Australian Light Horse captured the city of Jericho in 1918. These figures are representative of Australian WW1 serviceman - an AIF soldier (modeled on Private William Piggot Darby) and a RAN sailor (modeled on Leading Signalman John William Varcoe).

As is the case with all cenotaphs around the world, it represents an "empty tomb" in honour of those who served and whose body lies elsewhere.


Cenotaph in Martin Place.


Cenotaph in Martin Place


Close-up of the soldier modeled on Private William Piggot Darby.


Close-up of the sailor modeled on Leading Signalman John William Varcoe.

(All photos and text courtesy of Peter F. Williams)
© 2009 Peter F. Williams all rights reserved


Page published May 4, 2009