Sphinx Memorial


Hewn from surrounding bush sandstone by 5756 Pte. W. T. Shirley as a memorial to fallen A.I.F. comrades, the Sphinx is approximately 1/8th the size of the Great Sphinx, located on Egypt’s Giza Plateau.

Pte. William Shirley was a patient of the Lady Davidson Convalescent Hospital for returned First World War Australian veterans. He sailed to war in January 1916 and served with the 13th Btn A.I.F. (the “Two Blues” – as a result of the Battalion’s two tone blue colour patch). Like many of his comrades at Lady Davidson, he suffered from gas inflicted during the fierce battles on the Western Front with the added complications of a tuberculosis infection. Between 1926-1928, an ailing William Shirley laboured at creating his personal memorial to his fallen A.I.F comrades. The Sphinx took some one and a half years to complete. He died in 1929, leaving an unusual legacy in stone to be contemplated by the many bushwalkers who enjoy the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

The memorial is located near the North Turramurra Gate and the Lady Davidson Private Hospital. 


Plaque 1:

To my glorious comrades of the A.I.F by the late W. Shirley No 5756 Pte. 13th Battalion Died 27th August 1928

Plaque 2:

This memorial, following restoration, was rededicated on the 9th November 1995, in recognition of the selflessness and sacrifices of the members of the A.I.F. by the late W. Shirley No 5756 Pte. 13th Battalion Died 27th August 1928

In stone:

Lest we forget. 1914-18.

Veterans listed on this memorial

Rank Given Name Family Name Conflict/s Fate Service No. Service Campaign Link
Raymond F Dempsey World War 1 KIA view
Charles McK Draper World War 1 KIA view
Robert Dunnicliff World War 1 KIA view
C Gould World War 1 KIA view
William Greenland World War 1 KIA view
Clyde Harrison World War 1 KIA view
Ralph Harwood World War 1 KIA view
William E Hepple World War 1 KIA view
Ray Hobden World War 1 KIA view
William J Hughes World War 1 KIA view
Sphinx Road,
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
North Turramurra NSW 2074
Local Government Area
  • Ku-ring-gai Council
  • Garden/park
Memorial type
  • Statue/sculpture/artwork
Recorded by
Mr Rusty Priest AM, former RSL State President (NSW Branch)
Established date
Established Date format: 
$e_original_date = $entity->field_established['und'][0]['value']; if (!empty($e_original_date)) { $changed_date = strtotime($e_original_date); $new_date = date("d F Y", $changed_date); print '
Established date
'; print $new_date; } else{ print ''; }
Dedication date: 
Dedication date
03 May 1931
  • First World War, 1914–18

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