Located in Sydney's Union Square, the Pyrmont War Memorial was erected in 1922 to honour the 750 local men who served during WWI, of whom 150 were killed and many more were wounded. Each of their names can be found listed on the Honour Rolls attached to the sides of the memorial - an important reminder of their service and sacrifice.
It was created by local sculptor, Gilbert Doble, who was responsible for numerous war memorials in NSW during this period, including 'Winged Victory' in Marrickville. For the Pyrmont memorial, Doble sculpted a winged female figure out of copper-alloy to stand upon a stone obelisk and circular brick base.
The winged figure holds a shield with the inscription "Their name liveth for evermore". Although her exact symbolism is unknown, it is thought that she represents either a messenger of classical gods, a Christian angel, or an embodiment of peace or victory.
As an outdoor monument regularly exposed to the elements, various condition issues needed to be addressed. These included the patchy appearance of the winged figure due to oxidisation of the copper and other patination chemicals; loose or detached fixings on a number of the plaques; and black staining and streaking in certain areas of the stonework.
ICS was commissioned by the City of Sydney to undertake a condition assessment and conservation works, which included the following steps:
- Cleaning of the winged figure using controlled high pressure water to remove all dust and detritus
- Careful removal of active corrosion
- Chemical patination to improve the appearance of previous repairs that had discoloured
- Application of a protective wax to slow any corrosion and minimise further degradation
- Application of a pigmented wax to fill casting flaws and previous repairs, and improve water resistance
- Cleaning and waxing of all plaques, addressing any loose/missing screw fixings and rawl plugs
- Budding of the winged figure and plaques using stiff-bristled nylon brushes
- Cleaning of the stone-work with medium water pressure and additional hand scrubbing to reduce staining
- Repointing of the open joints
City of Sydney
Monument Conservation, Sculpture Conservation