Desert Mounted Corps Memorial

Author

City of Albany

Place Number

00034

Location

Apex Dve Albany

Location Details

Summit of Mt. Clarence

Other Name(s)

and Lone Pine Memorial

Local Government

Albany

Region

Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1932, Constructed from 1964

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Military Memorial National Significance YES 30 Jun 2015
State Register Permanent 29 Nov 1996 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category A+
Classified by the National Trust Classified 04 Apr 1977
Statewide War Memorial Survey Completed 01 May 1996
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Mar 1978

Statement of Significance

Desert Mounted Corps Memorial, a bronze sculpture, cast from that originally erected in Port Said, mounted on a granite cenotaph, has aesthetic, historic, representative, social and rarity cultural heritage significance for the following reasons: The place commemorates Australian and New Zealand soldiers who died during World War One The place displays artistic excellence A national war memorial, the place is highly valued by the local community and the nation at large; and The place is important for its landmark qualities.

Physical Description

The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial is a bronze sculpture on a granite masonry cenotaph, around which is a low granite semi-circular wall. The sculpture is approximately 3 metre high and sits atop a granite clad column approximately 6 metres high and 2.5 metres wide. The sides of the column are stained green by water run off. This staining is present on the sides of the granite masonry wall that surrounds the cenotaph. The area within the semi-circular wall is paved in granite slabs. The style of the column, with its plinth and base and surrounding wall, is Inter-War Stripped classical. The composition is perfectly symmetrical and static. The bronze statue, in contrast, is dynamic and asymmetrical. Both however are monumental and formal in quality. The statue portrays an Australian trooper going to the aid of a New Zealander whose horse has been wounded. The statue is orientated so that all four figures, which are about twice life size, face north. The figures are arranged in three sculptural masses as follows. The eastern figure is a horse that has just fallen and is kneeling on its hind legs attempting to get up. The central figure is the rider of the fallen horse. He is walking forward in a determined attitude. The third sculptural mass is that of a horseman on his rearing horse. The overall composition is such that the viewer's eye is led from the kneeling hindquarters of the eastern horse, to the head of the central horseman, to the head of the mounted horseman to the head of the rearing horse. The statue is full of dramatic power and tension is finely executed. The height of the granite column and the siting of the memorial make viewing of the statue difficult and the overall composition is best viewed from the northern side of the disable persons' car park about 50 metres north of the memorial.

History

During World War One Albany was the assembly point for many Australian and New Zealand mounted troops before they left to fight in Egypt. On 4 August 1916, Brigadier General J. R. Royston, Commander of the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade suggested that a memorial be erected at Port Said, in memory of Australian and New Zealand Mounted Troops who were killed in the Syria campaign. The Desert mounted Corps Memorial was funded by the Australian government which contributed £10 000, the New Zealand government which donated £2 000 and the troops who contributed £5 400. A design competition was launched in 1923 that was won by Mr P. H. Meldrum and C. Webb Gilbert. Webb was awarded 200 guineas for his design. Architects commissioned to work on the memorial were Stevenson and Meldrum. Contractor Mr Roberts supplied Gabo Island granite for the base and screen wall. Webb Gilbert died in October 1925 and Sir Bertram Mackennal completed the sculpture. In 1927, the Egyptian Agency of the Imperial War Graves Commission commenced work on the foundations at Port Said, which were completed in 1932. The memorial was unveiled on 23 November 1932 by the former Prime Minister of Australia, Hon William Morris Hughes. The memorial was damaged in the Suez Crisis on 26 December 1956. In 1959, the United Arab Republic agreed to ship the memorial back to Albany where it subsequently arrived in March 1960. Howard Hartman, an Albany stonemason, was contracted to re-create the granite base. Raymond Ewers from Melbourne was commissioned to re-cast the figures. In September 1962, the completed plaster cast was shipped to Genoa, Italy, for casing in bronze by the Battaglia Brothers in Milan. In July 1964, the new statue arrived in Fremantle. The completed memorial was situated on Mount Clarence and unveiled by Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies on 11 October 1964. On 2 November 1974 a Gallipoli pine tree was planted in the vicinity of the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial. The plaque next to the tree states; Gallipoli pine planted 2 November 1974. Commemorating the Diamond jubilee of the first Australian troopships to leave Albany to take troops to the Great War in 1914. In June 1985, vandals stole the bayonets attached to the memorial. Mrs June Hodgson, Mayor of Albany appealed to the public for their return and they were subsequently returned. The memorial is well maintained and is in good condition.

Integrity/Authenticity

Integrity: High

Condition

Excellent

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
Sir Bertram Mackennal Architect 1932 -
Stevenson and Meldrum. Architect - -

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage Council of Western Australia assessment for entry on interim basis 1996
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
1944 Albany heritage park : draft management plan. Report 1987

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Present Use MONUMENT\CEMETERY Monument
Original Use MONUMENT\CEMETERY Monument

Architectural Styles

Style
Inter-War Stripped Classical

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Other METAL Bronze
Other STONE Granite

Historic Themes

General Specific
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES World Wars & other wars

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

01 Jan 2017

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.