War Memorial Recrowned

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The Cross being created at the foundry.

This week the City completed the restoration and installation of a Victoria Cross long missing from the Foley Park World War I Memorial in Glebe.

When the tribute to local soldiers killed during the Great War was completed in 1922, a bronze Victoria Cross sat on top, clasped to a marble orb.

But the cross, which symbolises the highest military decoration for valour "in the face of the enemy" for Australian servicemen and women, mysteriously disappeared decades ago. Historian Max Solling thinks the cross weathered through until it dropped off in the 1980s.

The City engaged heritage conservators to oversee the reproduction of the missing piece for the Anzac centenary year.

Specialist metal-artists reproduced the missing Glebe memorial Victoria Cross by taking a mould from one that sits atop the Mascot War Memorial, which was designed by the same architect, William Martin. Mr Martin was also a local Alderman and anti-conscription campaigner back in the 1920s.

Craftsmen from Crawford's Casting, which made both bronze Diggers on the Anzac bridge, used a cherry picker to reach the orb seven metres above Mascot Memorial Park, where they prepared a silicon rubber mould last month.

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Completing the installation.

They then cast the new cross and clasp over four weeks in their Sydney foundry in a process that saw a compound of copper, silicon and manganese heated to a temperature of 1,240 degrees Celsius for pouring.

It's fitting that we reinstalled the Victoria Cross in the year we remember the Gallipoli landings, when so many young men displayed such remarkable courage.

We must ensure the memorials honouring those who served always look their best, for now and future generations.

See more: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/places-to-go/events/anzac-centenary/war-memorials/_nocache

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