The Australian War Memorial is Australia’s national memorial to the 100,000 Australian military who died in all wars – those involving the Commonwealth of Australia, and personnel from Australia prior to Federation. It was the brainchild of Charles Bean (1879-1968), who had been at Gallipoli and the Western Front, and was opened on 11 November 1941. It is considered one of the finest of such memorials in the world. It stands at the end of Anzac Parade, a long avenue directly opposite to the Parliament House on Capital Hill, on the other side of Lake Burley Griffin.
The Memorial consists of three parts – the Commemorative area which is a shrine and contains the tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier from the First World War (buried here on 11 November 1993), the galleries of the museum (with a fine collection of war relics), and the research centre which contains the records, and also an outdoor sculpture garden. The Hall of Memory, completed in 1959, with stained glass windows by Napier Waller (1893-1972) remembers the fallen without glorifying war. The galleries were redeveloped in 1997. The Queen visited it in 2000. ANZAC Hall was completed in June 2001. A particularly fine painting is of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba in Palestine on 31 October 1917, by George Lambert (1873-1930).
The Australian War Museum tells the stories of men and women who have served, and continue to serve Australia in conflict, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. Through exhibitions, artworks, large technology objects and personal records, the museum shares personal experiences of military service. It has been ranked as Canberra’s number one attraction to visit on trip-advisor.
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