Surmounting the east and west portals are great bronze bas relief panels which tell in graphic form the activities of the 1st AIF., that which graces the Eastern façade illustrating the Eastern Campaigns – the landing at Gallipoli, the laying of railway lines in the east, the work of the Army Service Corps, the Army Medical Corps, the Camel Corps, the Light Horse, the Signals Units, the Infantry, the Artillery, Machine Gunners, the Pioneers and other representative units of the A.I.F. on the Eastern theatres of the War.
In a similar manner the panel on the western façade illustrates the activities of the A.I.F. on the Western Front; for here are depicted units of the Air Force, the Cycle Corps, the Infantry, the Pioneers, the Artillary, the Medical Corps, the Bombers, the Engineers and the Tank Corps.
Each of these bronze panels measures 32 feet long and 4 feet 6 inches high, and is placed close to the eye line so that all who pass may see. The style is realistic and matter-of-fact, and neither pathos nor heroics are invoked when the wounded, gassed and dying men fall. The reliefs are probably inspired by Roman Victory Columns Hoff had seen whilst he studied in Rome.
Photo by Rob Tuckwell
The Western Front, 1914–18
Depicted left–right: A man of a Cyclist’ Company – An Aeroplane, R.E.8, Pilot and Observer with Machine Gun – Pilot, Observer and Mechanic of Air Force – Despatch Rider with Pigeon basket leaving signals H.Q. – Pioneer with duck board – Infantry marching from rest area – Signallers laying telephone wire – Army Service Corps Waggon – Gassed and Wounded leaving casualty clearing stations – Pioneer digging a sap – 8in.Howetzer in action (firing) – Stretcher bearers going forward with stretcher - Bomber throwing a “Mills” – A Lewis Gun Crew with Infantry in attack against gas, accompanied by tank.
Photo by Rob Tuckwell
The Eastern Campaigns, 1914–18
Depicted left–right: A Navel Landing Party – A.N. & M.E.F. Chief Petty Officer – Surgeon, Nurse, Stretcher Bearer and Ambulance Driver at Rail head depot – Wireless Signallers in the field – Infantry – Original Australian Camel Corps – Railway Engineers laying light lines (Palestine) - Mule transport with water containers – Light Horse acting as Infantry – Pioneer – Part of a Crew of Hotchkiss Gun – Eighteen-pounder Battery in action (loading) – Signallers with heliograph – Ford with mounted Lewis Gun and Light Horse in attack with Mounted Hotchkiss Gun – Section registering casualties.