Interesting Things to Know About the Five Memorials in ANZAC Square

Anzac Square, the country’s first state memorial that opened in Brisbane in 1930, is considered hallowed ground to the families of those whose heroism are commemorated there. It is home to a number of important monuments that serve as powerful reminders of Australia’s wartime sacrifices and the ongoing impact of conflict on its society. 

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From the iconic Shrine of Remembrance to the memorials honouring those who served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, and South West Pacific Campaign, Anzac Square is a sacred space that deserves a closer look. Let’s explore some fascinating details about each of these influential memorials.

Shrine of Remembrance

Photo credit: Elliott Bledsoe/Google Maps

At the very heart of Anzac Square sits the majestic Shrine of Remembrance, a striking marble structure topped with a bronze statue of a soldier. Designed in a classical architectural style, this memorial contains numerous inscriptions and artworks that commemorate the valour and sacrifices of our heroes.

Anzac Square and the Shrine of Remembrance c1930 (John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

Boer War Memorial

The Boer War Memorial standing in Anzac Square today actually has quite a fascinating history. Originally located in front of the Trades Hall Building, the monument was later moved to its current prominent position within the square in 1939. 

The Boer War Memorial also known as the South African War Memorial (Photo credit: CC BY-SA 4.0/Kgbo/Wikimedia Commons)

Interestingly, the statue was modelled after Sergeant Frederick James Hockey, a Queensland soldier who fought in both the Boer War and World War I, ultimately reaching the rank of major.

Women’s Memorial

Photo credit: Peter Smith/Google Maps

On the western wall of Anzac Square, visitors can find the poignant Women’s Memorial. Erected by the women of Queensland, this sculptural panel depicts infantry and horse-drawn guns, memorialising those female service members who gave their lives during World War I. In front of the memorial stands a sandstone drinking fountain supported by four bronze fish.

South West Pacific Campaign Memorial

Photo credit: Paul Zomer/Google Maps

Anzac Square also features a memorial dedicated to the Australians and their allies who served and perished during the South West Pacific Campaign of World War II, a significant theatre of operations from 1942-1945.

Korea, Malaya, and Borneo Memorials

Anzac square
Photo credit: Fing Chiew/Google Maps

The Korea, Malaya, Borneo memorial depicts an Australian veteran from the Malaya and Borneo campaigns standing side-by-side with a Korean War soldier, their outstretched arms symbolising a call for peace and reconciliation. 

A separate memorial was dedicated to those who served and perished during the Vietnam War from 1962 to 1973. This poignant statue shows an Australian soldier directing a medical helicopter to tend to his wounded comrade, capturing the compassion and camaraderie of those who fought in that divisive conflict.

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If you want to learn more about the rich history and significance of the Anzac Square memorials, be sure to visit the interactive digital galleries located within the precinct. 

Anzac square

Photo credit:

These recently updated exhibits feature a wealth of new content, including digital stories of Queensland service personnel, personal accounts from World War II veterans, 3D scanned mementos, updated battalion histories, engaging quizzes, and a trove of additional photographs drawn from the extensive military collections of the State Library. 

Exploring these immersive displays provides a deeper appreciation for the bravery, sacrifice, and lasting impact of Australia’s wartime experiences embodied within the hallowed grounds of Anzac Square.

Published 11-April-2024