Permanent Exhibitions | Shrine of Remembrance

Permanent Exhibitions | Shrine of RemembrancePermanent Exhibitions | Shrine of Remembrance

Permanent Exhibitions

Gallery of Medals

The Gallery of Medals is about the service and sacrifice of Victorians in war and peacekeeping operations from the Boer War (1899-1902) to the present. The service of 400,000 Victorian men and women is symbolised by the service medals that have been awarded to military personnel of all ranks, and civilians who have contributed strong support to military activities.

Wall of medals
A set of 22 replica medals, representative of service medals awarded to Australians by the British, Australian and South Vietnamese Governments, are repeated to make over 4,000 medals in the 40 metre long wall. Each medal represents 100 Victorians who have served in military and peacekeeping operations and six who lost their lives.

Of the 24,000 Victorians who have lost their lives in service some 19,000 died in the First World War (1914-18).

Interpretive timeline
The gallery contains an interpretive panel of 44 authentic service medals arranged in the order of their creation. They are displayed with a timeline indicating the major conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have served up to the present day

The British Government has awarded medals for service in military campaigns to all ranks since the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The earliest award to honour the service of Victorians went to those who travelled to the Maori War in New Zealand, 1860-66.

Service awards to Australians continued to be made by the British Government until 1975, with the exception of the first distinctly Australian campaign medal, the Australian Service Medal 1939-45. Australian awards were initiated in 1975 when the Order of Australia was constituted. The medals are arranged in order of creation.

The Gallery of Medals has been sponsored by the Returned and Services League of Australia, Victorian Branch.

Recent Conflicts Gallery

Discover the human stories behind the headlines and find out what it was really like to serve in Australia's twenty-first century wars. An Australian sorting through the wreckage of the World Trade Center. A witness to a car bomb attack in Iraq. A young man wounded when his vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device, and the female medic who gave him First Aid. A soldier fighting the Taliban in a remote valley of Aghanistan. Photographs and video footage taken by the servicemen and women themselves show the wars through their eyes: the drama and tragedy, as well as the humour and comradeship.

The Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross (VC) was created by Queen Victoria in 1856 to be awarded to all ranks for bravery in the face of the enemy. It was preceded by the Distinguished Conduct Medal (1854) and the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (1855). The VC has always been cast from the gunmetal of captured cannons held in secrecy in London. It remains the highest Commonwealth award for valour. Since 1856 additional Imperial and Australian awards have been created and over time the VC has come to acknowledge only the most extraordinary and conspicuous displays of courage, self-sacrifice and extreme devotion to duty.

The Victoria Cross for Australia, awarded to Australia's two most recent recipients, was introduced on 15 January 1991. It is identical to the earlier Imperial VC and is cast from the same gunmetal. The new award is conferred by the Governor General of Australia with the approval of the Monarch.

To date 100 Australians have received the VC for bravery in the following conflicts.

Melbourne Boer War (1899-1902) six awarded
Melbourne First World War (1914-18) sixty-four awarded
Melbourne North Russia (1919) two awarded
Melbourne Second World War (1939-45) twenty awarded
Melbourne Vietnam War (1962-72) four awarded
Melbourne Afghanistan (2003 - ) four awarded

Private John Charlton Boer | War Memorial

Originally installed in St Paul's Church in Euroa in 1903, this unique stained glass window commemorates Private John Charlton, of Castle Creek, Victoria, for his service and sacrifice in the Boer War (1899-1901). It was designed and manufactured in Melbourne by Brooks, Robinson & Co, in an Art Nouveau style.

The window features the helmet of St Paul superimposed over a sword of sacrifice and a shield. These emblems and the inscription below convey community beliefs in service to God in a just cause that led Australians to fight during the Boer War and the First World War.

This window was replaced by another more figurative design in the 1920s, also dedicated to the memory of Private John Charlton. The original was stored under the church until being rediscovered in the 1980s.

The Charlton Memorial Window Committee, with support from a Victoria Remembers Grant, restored the stained glass window and donated it to the Shrine in 2016.

When & Where

Happens: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Times: 10am - 5pm

Venue || Location

 Shrine of Remembrance  Events 9 Events
⊜ Corner St Kilda Road and Domain Road Melbourne | Map
Shrine of RemembranceCorner St Kilda Road and Domain Road, Melbourne, , 3001
✆ Event: 03 9661 8100 | Venue: 03 9661 8100

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Permanent Exhibitions | Shrine of Remembrance

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