The Glebe War Memorial was built in 1921 in honour of 174 local residents who did not return from World War I including the Australian fast bowler, Albert "Tibby" Cotter. It was constructed thanks to funds raised by the Glebe community and designed by local resident, William Martin.
Martin's design is considered quite unique for a community war memorial, mixing both Egyptian and Greco-Roman architectural elements with Christian and Classical imagery. The main building is a cenotaph shrine primarily made of trachyte, marble, bronze and concrete. A marble bust of an angel guards the entrance, whilst busts of an Australian soldier and sailor flank the main building. The structure is topped by an impressive marble dome, at the centre of which rests a granite orb.
Mystery of the missing clasp
A bronze Victoria Cross clasp was once attached to the orb, but mysteriously went missing sometime after 1954. Photographic evidence revealed that the missing clasp appearead identical to the one attached to the Mascot War Memorial, and so this was copied and recreated. ICS managed this process, working closely with Crawford's Casting, who recreated the clasp at their Sydney foundry using the lost wax casting process.
Scope of works
ICS was commissioned by the City of Sydney to document the conservation of almost every element of the Memorial, including:
- Cleaning and repointing of the trachyte and marble
- Assessment of water penetration into the interior and rectification
- Cleaning of the marble busts of an angel and of an Australian soldier and sailor
- Restoration of the interior plasterwork
- Regilding of the roll of honour
- Replication of the original fence
- Repointing of the brick work on the steps
- Replication of the Victoria Cross bronze clasp on the top orb
For further information
City of Sydney
Traditional Stonemasonry Company
War Memorials, Monument Conservation, Sculpture Conservation
Glebe War Memorial
Trachyte entry and marble angel
Marble bust of angel
Copying Mascot War Memorial's
Victoria Cross clasp