Description / Background
The memorial at Lawson in the Blue Mountains is in the form of triumphal arch/gateway and is built from local sandstone with inset and engraved trachyte panels. The memorial acts as formal entry to the Lawson Honour Gardens.
The arch is simple in form and lacks any applied decoration. A pronounced cornice is used to separate the main body of the memorial from the attic. The words 'Honour Avenue', in bronze lettering, is set in the lintel stone above the arch. A trachyte panel inset on the left-hand side of the memorial details the unveiling, while the trachyte panel on the right-hand side lists 27 locals who had enlisted from the area, including 10 who died on active service. The dead are marked with a small engraved cross. A trachyte panel was added after the Second World War. Later panels are also set on the right hand pier of the arch remembering Malaysia and Korea and Vietnam.
The designer of the memorial was the well-known architect and war veteran Major General Charles Rosenthal, who also designed a memorial at nearby Blackheath. He laid the foundation stone on 26 January 1922 and the memorial was unveiled by NSW State Governor Sir Walter Davidson on 27 April 1923.
The noted architect and town planner Sir John Sulman oversaw the layout of the formal garden avenue behind the memorial in conjunction with F.V. Wilkner the Shire Engineer. The layout of the memorial and gardens shows Sulman's love of formality and symmetry. The path and axis through the garden is terminated by a steel arch at the eastern end with '1914-1918 Honour Gardens' painted at the top. Among the names on the servicemen's panel are a G. Sulman, Sir John Sulman's son Geoffrey, who was killed in an aircraft accident as an officer in the Royal Flying Corps (R.F.C.) in 1917. Although not serving in the Australian forces, he grew up in Lawson. He travelled to Britain and enlisted in the R.F.C. after the Australian Imperial Force rejected him on medical grounds.
Note: Mr Andrew Howell has researched the Unit, Campaign, and service numbers of those listed on the memorial. Research contributions on G Sulman by Mr David Carment.
Left hand panel, top
SERVICE AND SACRIFICE
THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED BY THE RESIDENTS OF LAWSON TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE OF BRAVE MEN OF THIS DISTRICT WHO SERVED IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1918
SIR WALTER DAVIDSON K.C.M.G. GOVERNOR OF NSW UNVEILED THIS MEMORIAL APRIL 27TH 1923
Left hand panel, bottom
THIS FOUNDATION STONE WAS LAID BY MAJOR GENERAL SIR CHARLES ROSENTHAL KCB CMG DSO.