This ornate four sided trachyte stone World War One memorial commemorates the 750 men from the Pyrmont – Ultimo district who enlisted in the Australian Expeditionary Forces during the Great War. All are named on the base of the memorial. Of the 750 enlistees, 150 lost their lives during the war and many more were wounded.
The memorial, by Gilbert Doble, is topped by a copper-alloy winged figure holding a shield which bears the inscription ‘Their name liveth for evermore’.
Although the exact symbolism of the winged figure is unknown, it is thought that she represents either a messenger of classical gods, a Christian angel, or an embodiment of peace or victory.
The Memorial was unveiled by Sir Walter Davidson, New South Wales State Governor, on 8 April 1922. The £1,000 cost of the memorial had been raised from local donations – quite a feat as at the time Pyrmont and Ultimo were impoverished working class areas, far removed from the yuppie, organic soy chai latte swigging strongholds they are today (Pyrmont, in particular).
Seeing the memorial, I was reminded of a sculpture of Winged Victory (picture 5 attached) on display in the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Canberra. On further investigation I have ascertained that the Winged Victory in the AWM is the original Soldier’s Memorial from the Sydney suburb of Marrickville and was one of the first Great War memorials in Australia, also created by Gilbert Doble, whose studio was in Marrickville.
The general area around Union Square and along Harris Street makes for a lovely detour (and walk) if you are visiting The Star (casino and entertainment centre), located less than 100 metres to the east. It also has lots of cafes and the like offering, in my opinion, much better value to those in the casino complex.
Address: Union Square – 138-149 Harris Street, Pyrmont
Directions: Cnr Harris and Union Streets