Fromelles Memorial, Shrine of Remembrance

Location \ St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia
Client \ Shrine of Remembrance Trustees

‘Cobbers’ was commissioned by the Australian War Graves Commission as the memorial to Australian service and sacrifices at the Battle of Fromelles 19 July 1916. It was installed in the Australian Memorial Park at Fromelles in France in 1998. The second cast of the sculpture was made possible through the initiative and efforts of the Friends of the 15th Brigade Association. The project to install Cobbers in the Shrine Reserve was funded by Tattersalls George Adams Foundation and the Victorian State Government.

The Cobbers landscape including the initial site selection, orientation, setting and statue base was developed by rush\wright associates for the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees in association with artist Peter Corlett. The piece is an important addition to the Shrine Reserve as it is the first major external enhancement as outlined in the Shrine Reserve Landscape Management Plan, also prepared by RWA.

The Masterplan identifies the need to strengthen the design of Shrine Reserve landscape as a memorial park and to differentiate the precinct from other parts of the Melbourne Domain which tend towards neutral parkland. The Plan considers the Reserve as a kind of temenos, a constructed landscape setting for a temple, in this case the major Shrine building. It is proposed to mark the boundary of the precinct with new memorials, so that the presence and purpose of the Reserve can be perceived by those entering, and those passing by.

Cobbers is the first of these.

Cobbers and its landscape now forms a small, but important new beacon on the St Kilda Rd/Domain Road corner, projecting the presence of the Shrine and its memorial order right to the edge of Melbourne’s premier commercial boulevard. While relatively humble in scale, the sculpture and its setting bring a new perspective to Shrine Reserve and stands as the first proof of the very long-term Masterplan adopted by the Trustees.

The project was opened on July 16, 2008, the 92nd anniversary of the battle of Fromelles, by the Premier, John Brumby; the Mayor of Fromelles and his wife; Martial Delebarre, also of Fromelles, whose family suffered great loss in 1916; the Mayor of Melbourne and numerous other project contributors.