The Roll of Honour

Please note: The public are advised the Australian War Memorial will be undertaking after-hours conservation work on the Roll of Honour (First World War panels, western cloisters) between Tuesday, 17 November and Wednesday, 16 December 2015. The work involves the removal of poppies placed by visitors, cleaning and re-waxing the panels of the Roll of Honour. Visitors will be able to place poppies against the panels once again after the work has been completed. This is routine work which is undertaken by the Memorial to ensure that the Roll of Honour is kept in the best possible condition.

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 virtually every Australian who has died in war since 1885 – more than 102,000 people. Australia is one of the few nations able to name its war dead so completely. Walking past the Roll gives an impression of the magnitude of this loss. Many visitors insert paper poppies in the niches of the Roll of Honour, next to a name that has significance for them.

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