The Interior Bas Reliefs

 

On the marble walls of the interior are bas relief panels depicting personnel from the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Army Medical Corps. Note that these are the descriptions of the subject matter of the bas reliefs as described in The Book of the Anzac Memorial (1934). Although Australia sent aviators to the Great War most served in the Australian Flying Corps, a branch of the Australian Imperial Force while others served in the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, part of the British Army and Navy. Australia did not have an independent Air Force as a branch service until 1921.

These panels depict men and a woman in uniform resting or mourning fallen comrades. Behind them march the souls of the departed, known as the March of the Dead.

On this day

On this day
16 February

1942— BANKA ISLAND MASSACRE. Following the sinking of the SS Vyner Brook, many of the survivors, including 22 Australian nurses, reached the shore of Banka Island. Realising that their position was desperate, an officer from the ship set out with most of the women and children to surrender the group to the Japanese. The officer returned with 20 Japanese soldiers who ordered all the men capable of walking to move to hidden part of the beach and killed them. They then returned to the beach and ordered the 22 nurses and 1 British civilian woman to walk into the water. They were machine-gunned in the back. All the immobile survivors were then killed. Sister Vivian Bullwinkle pretended to be dead and was the only survivor