Glebe War Memorial

PROJECT DATE : 10TH JUN 2016
project
Glebe War Memorial
client
City of Sydney
services
Sculpture Conservation, Monument Conservation, War Memorials

The Glebe War Memorial was built in 1921 in honour of 174 local residents who did not return from World War I including the Australian fast bowler, Albert “Tibby” Cotter. It was constructed thanks to funds raised by the Glebe community and designed by local resident, William Martin. 

Design elements

Martin’s design is considered quite unique for a community war memorial, mixing both Egyptian and Greco-Roman architectural elements with Christian and Classical imagery. The main building is a cenotaph shrine primarily made of stone, marble, bronze and concrete. A marble bust of an angel guards the entrance, whilst busts of an Australian soldier and sailor flank the main building. The structure is topped by an impressive marble dome, at the centre of which rests a granite orb. 

Mystery of the missing clasp 

A bronze Victoria Cross clasp was once attached to the orb, but mysteriously went missing sometime after 1954. Photographic evidence revealed that the missing clasp was identical to the one attached to the Mascot War Memorial, and so this was copied and recreated. ICS managed this process, working closely with Crawford Castings, who recreated the clasp at their Sydney foundry using the lost-wax bronzing process.

Treatment 

ICS was commissioned by the City of Sydney to manage the conservation of almost every element of the Memorial, including:

  • Cleaning and repointing of the granite and marble
  • Assessment of water penetration into the interior and rectification
  • Cleaning of the marble busts of an angel and of an Australian soldier and sailor
  • Restoration of the interior plasterwork
  • Regilding of the roll of honour
  • Replication of the original fence
  • Repointing of the brick work on the steps
  • Replication of the Victoria Cross bronze clasp on the top orb

For further information

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project
Glebe War Memorial
client
City of Sydney
services
Sculpture Conservation, Monument Conservation, War Memorials

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