A Home on a Southern Hill - 80th Anniversary of the Australian War Memorial

Will Dyson, Calling them home, 1928, AWM93.2.5.4.Part6.80

Will Dyson, Calling them home, 1928, AWM93.2.5.4.Part6.80

A home on a southern hill is a series of exhibitions telling the story of how the Memorial was brought to being, as well as exploring its history and continuing relevance, presented online to mark the 80th anniversary of the Memorial building.

The series takes its name from a poem written by Will Dyson to accompany his 1928 cartoon, Calling them home, which depicts a ghostly bugler calling the spirits of Australia’s war dead to the yet-to-be-built Memorial:

     They dreamed of leave that never came. Now each dead man is a living fame.

            But dreams it still.                

     They dream of a call to a last route march, back to a land where the grey gums arch.

            To a home on a Southern hill.                                              

The cartoon and poem encapsulate the conception and purposes of the Australian War Memorial: as a place for the living – to remember, grieve, and understand – and for the fallen – as a tomb fitting of their sacrifice, and a place for their spirit to reside.

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