Buttress sculptures

Rayner Hoff's sixteen seated figures, which represent the various units of the AIF, are positioned at the top of the Memorial building's buttresses. These statues hold the equipment and weaponry relevant to their roles and demonstrate the skills and expertise demonstrated by Australians during the Great War. The figures make the building's purpose very clear.

They were made in Hoff’s studio. He would model a clay figure to a third or half life-size and then it would be enlarged, exactly to scale, by his assistants with the aid of a pointing machine. A plaster cast was then made in segments under John Moorfield’s supervision and the clay removed from the inside. Thomas Grounds and Sons, a Newtown-based family business, then cast the figures in synthetic stone using a white cement, very fine- grained sand and a pinch of red oxide (to match the pink granite cladding of the building).

On this day

On this day
17 January

1917 — 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, sailed for France. This was the last AFC Squadron formed in WW1 and began active service over the Western Front in the Battle of Cambrai

1945 — Battle of TSIMBA RIDGE, a strongly fortified Japanese position  in the north of Bougainville

1991 — Coalition air attacks began against Iraqi forces in IRAQ and KUWAIT, marking the beginning of the GULF WAR, which ended when Iraqi forces were driven from Kuwait