World War I commemorative events

Around the City of Port Phillip there are a range of programs, activities and projects which commemorate the people, places and history of World War I.

Here is a sample of what is available for participation, information and contribution. Visit the Events Calendar for up-to-date events listings.

Albert Park

The Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial was unveiled in 2015 at Foote Street Reserve. This memorial, sculpted by renowned artist Peter Corlett OAM, recognises the important role played by Australian nurses and the essential role of the island of Lemnos in Australia’s ANZAC story. It is dedicated to the Australian nurses and soldiers who served there during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915, to the 148 Australian soldiers who remain buried there, and to the local Lemnian community who supported them.

For more information visit the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee.

Elwood

Friends of Elwood RSL hold annual ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services.

Port Melbourne

Port Melbourne Historical & Preservation Society has set up a facebook page and website for its Port Melbourne WWI Centenary project. This aims to list volunteers from Port who enlisted for active service and tell some of the stories of the Home Front in Port during the war. 

Annie Samson, member of the Women's Welcome Committee, Australian Women's Association, political activist and social campaigner and Port Melbourne resident was tragically murdered in 1917. Read an extract from Terry Keenan's book Welcoming the Wounded ANZACS telling her story. Her grave at Williamstown Cemetery is in need of care. If you would be interested in assisting with its upkeep, please contact art&heritage@portphillip.vic.gov.au and we can direct you to the relevant person.

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Image: George and Annie Samson taken between 22 January and 19 February 1917. (Courtesy: Don Davis, a son of George's sister Mary)

Port Melbourne ANZAC commemorative service is held in support of the RSL in conjunction with Port Melbourne Primary School each year on ANZAC Day at the Port Melbourne World War I memorial fountain, Beach Street.

The Women's Welcome Home Rotunda, Beach Street, Port Melbourne has recently been conserved through the Veterans Fund – Anzac Centenary Community Grants Program. The memorial plaque reads: “This memorial has been erected by the members of the Port Melbourne Women’s Welcome Home Committee and presented to the citizens in honour of the gallant Australians who fought in the Great War 1914 – 1918”.

Answering the Call is a sculpture commissioned by the Naval Heritage Foundation and unveiled in November 2015. Located on Beach Street near Dow Street, it honours all those naval personnel who served, and also recognises Port Melbourne's significant naval heritage. This project had been initiated by the late Lieutenant Commander Mackenzie Gregory, and was concluded by his daughter Jayne. The sculpture is by artist Louis Laumen.

Ripponlea

A memorial honouring old stories was unveiled at Burnett Gray Gardens, Ripponlea on 15 November 2015 as part of local Remembrance Day commemorations. This memorial is dedicated to Victorian Jewish soldiers who served in World War I and II.

This memorial honours local residents who lost their lives such as Dalbert Hallenstein and his cousins, and others such as Dr Keith Levi, son of St Kilda Councillor Joseph Levi, and Norman Brand, who attended Elwood Central School and enlisted in Ripponlea for service in World War II. Dalbert Hallenstein was a young St Kilda resident who lost his life on the Western Front in 1918. He grew up at Woonsocket in Barkly Street, St Kilda, close to his Michaelis cousins at nearby Linden in Acland Street.

Burnett Gray MLA was the first serving councillor in Victoria to enlist in World War I, a connection that is enhanced with the positioning of a war memorial in the Gardens named in his honour. He was invalided back to Australia in 1920 and, while still in hospital, was re-elected to the St Kilda Council. Burnett became Mayor of St Kilda in 1922.  Gray served on St Kilda Council for 40 years and was mayor four times. As well as the Gardens, an infant welfare centre was named after him in recognition of his contribution to the community

Commissioned by the Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia (VAJEX Australia), this memorial is a significant community and cultural asset and has been initiated by local residents as part of Anzac centenary commemorations. The memorial project has been supported by the Federal Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program. VAJEX Australia has generously donated this memorial to the City of Port Phillip.

For more information visit VAJEX Australia.

St Kilda

St Kilda RSL Sub-branch holds annual ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services.

The memorial to Vice-Admiral Creswell, Catani Gardens, is included in the 100 places for 100 years Victorian War Heritage Trails brochure and app.

South Melbourne

Two exhibitions are on display at the Emerald Hill Library & Heritage Centre until 30 June:

Patriotism and the home front 1914-1918 draws on material from the Port Phillip City Collection

Monumental Modernism is a photographic exhibition on loan from the National Trust of Australia (Vic)

In 2016 the City of Port Phillip undertook conservation treatment to the ornate and beautifully detailed South Melbourne Town Hall Honour Board, which recognised those who served from the South Melbourne area. This work was supported by the Victorian Government through the Restoring Community War Memorials and Avenues of Honour Grants, Victoria Remembers Grant Program. The timber frame was cleaned and polished, the brass frame was straightened and stabilised, and the glazing was replaced with safety glass.  This can be viewed at the Australian National Academy of Music entrance to the building.

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The South African Soldiers Memorial, St Kilda Road and Albert Road, is included in the 100 places for 100 years Victorian War Heritage Trails brochure and app.

Please email us if you would like to have an activity or project included here.

The Shrine of Remembrance has a program of talks and events. Visit their website for more information.

Image: Unveiling of Answering the Call on 27 November 2015: (from left to right) Cr Bernadene Voss, Mayor of Port Phillip, Jayne Gregory, Ms Andrea Coote, The Hon Martin Foley, Member for Albert Park, Ted Baillieu, Chair Anzac Centenary Committee,  Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, Chief of Navy.


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