The memorial concept is based on a ‘broken column’, a metaphor for a life cut short. This metaphor has been used extensively by artists over the centuries to depict the tragedy of war and its consequences.
Figure 1: Artist impression of the completed structure at 5.1m high
Figure 2: Artist Impression of the plan view of the completed structure
Around the column base are four images in three-dimensional high relief Catafalque Sculptures. Each relief symbolically describes an individual element of the Battle. The 2m high bronze sculptures are to be made with very careful attention to historical and military detailing.
Figure 3 provides an artistic impression of each of the four catafalque sculptures.
An Australian soldier of the 2nd/11th (City of Perth) Battalion faces North, the direction from where the invaders of Crete had come.
To the left and facing West, is a Greek Soldier of 1941. The symbolism of a Western facing ally is of an enduring connection between both nations.
Facing South is a Royal Australian Navy Rating. HMA ships PERTH, NAPIER and NIZAM fought valiantly in the campaign to keep sea lanes open and subsequently helped in the evacuation of the troops. The positioning of this figure symbolizes the notion that Allied naval forces ‘had the backs’ of the troops fighting the ground battle.
Facing East is a Cretan peasant woman. This figure recognizes the heavy involvement of local civilians in the battle, their sheltering of Allied soldiers evading capture by the enemy and their resistance to an oppressive invader, hundreds losing their lives in the process. Facing the dawn, this relief greets the day and the promise of a better future.
Figure 3: Artist impression of the catafalque sculptures
Figure 4: BOCM broken column including footing details and dimensions
Figure 5: Detailed plan view of the memorial
The BOCM includes a raised information podium complete with 12 No. A3 size cast bronze information plaques. The plaques will provide relevant details of the Battle with a strong emphasis on their educational value. The text for each plaque has not been determined at this stage. It is understood that after the text has been finalized by The Committee, each plaque will be submitted to the BGPA for approval before manufacture and subsequent installation.
Since the podium is part of a circular memorial, it will be wire-cut to match the radius of the structure. Similarly the bull-nosed edging will be wire-cut to provide a very high-quality finish.
The podium will comprise a reinforced concrete base which will be clad with a Mari Brown polished granite exterior as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Cross section details of the information podium
Figure 7: Central feature details