Located in Sydney’s Union Square, the Pyrmont War Memorial was erected in 1922 to honour the 750 local men who served during the First World War, of which 150 were killed and many more were wounded. Each of their names can be found listed on the Honour Rolls on the sides of the memorial.
The memorial was created by local sculptor, Gilbert Doble, who was responsible for numerous war memorials in NSW during the period. For the Pyrmont memorial, Doble sculpted a winged female figure out of copper-alloy to stand upon a stone obelisk and circular brick base.
The winged figure holds a shield with the inscription ‘Their name liveth for evermore’. Although the exact symbolism is unknown, it is thought the figure represents either a messenger of classical gods, a Christian angel, or an embodiment of peace or victory.
As an outdoor monument exposed to the elements, various condition issues needed to be addressed. These included the patchy appearance of the winged figure due to oxidisation of the copper and other patination chemicals; loose or detached fixings on several of the plaques; and black staining and streaking in certain areas of the stonework.
ICS was commissioned by the City of Sydney to undertake a condition assessment and conservation works, which included the following steps:
• Cleaning of the winged figure using controlled high-pressure water to remove all dust and detritus
• Careful removal of active corrosion
• Chemical patination to improve the appearance of previous repairs that had discoloured
• Applying of a protective wax to slow any corrosion and minimise further degradation
• Applying pigmented wax to fill castings flaws and previous repairs, and improve water resistance
• Cleaning and waxing of all plaques, addressing any loose or missing screw fixings and rawl plugs
• Buffing of the winged figure and plaques using stiff- bristled nylon brushes
• Cleaning of the stone-work with medium water pressure and additional hand scrubbing to reduce staining
• Repointing of the open joint with a polyurethane sealant
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