At the entrance to the Memorial are two medieval stone lions that once stood at the gateway of the Menin road at Ypres (Ieper), and were damaged during the First World War. The lions were presented by the city of Ypres to the Memorial in 1936. From the entrance, you can see the copper-clad dome of the Hall of Memory - inside of which lies the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier.
Stepping through the front entrance to the Memorial, your attention is immediately captured by the Commemorative Courtyard. Straight ahead are the Pool of Reflection and the Eternal Flame. Above are 26 sculptures carved in sandstone, representing the people and animals inhabiting Australia. Light and shade, flowers and stone, flame and water: all the elements here are designed to evoke a mood of calm contemplation.
Surrounding the courtyard and glimpsed through arched cloisters is the Roll of Honour. Here are inscribed in bronze the names of more than 102,000 Australians – all of whom have died during or as a result of serving their country in conflicts since 1885. Australia is one of the few nations able to name its war dead so completely. Nestled above the Commemorative Courtyard is a bespoke cabinet containing the two leather-bound volumes of the Commemorative Roll. This roll records the names of yet more Australians who gave their life in the very same conflicts in the service of Allied nations, the Merchant Navy, and with the civilian organisations that sought to assist those affected. These two Honour Rolls impress on the visitor the magnitude of Australia’s losses. Many visitors insert poppies in the niches of the Roll of Honour and near the Commemorative Roll, often placing them next to a name that has significance for them.