The Wayside Crucifix War Memorial

The Wayside Crucifix War Memorial

The First World War had a profound effect on the Australian psyche. The end of the war was follwed by efforts to enshrine its significance in a variety of memorials. Much debate followed, but by the beginning of 1920 it had been decided that the parish memorial would take the form of a wayside crucifix. The memorial was unveiled on Sunday the 16th of March, 1924 by the Governor General, and blessed by the Archbishop of Melbourne.

The vicar of the time, Father Hughes, referred to the overtly catholic form of the memorial (a crucifix rather than a simple cross) in the following terms:

Nothing struck our lads more than the way the wayside crucifixes remained unscathed throughout the devestated areas of Northern France and Belgium. I have numerous letters from our 366 lads who went out from this church, and one and all who returned have expressed their gratitude at the form our memorial to the fallen is taking.

The inscription on the crucifix reads Invictis Pax, which is translated as "Peace to the Unconquered", and is the Insignia of the Australian Imperial Force, 1914–1918.

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