Sphinx Memorial


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

Pte. William Shirley 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). Upon returning to NSW, he was a patient at the Lady Davidson Convalescent Hospital for returned Australian First World War veterans. 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 Shirley laboured at creating his personal memorial to his fallen 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. 

Carving on statue

Lest we forget.

Veterans listed on this memorial

Rank Given Name Family Name Conflict/s Fate Service No. Service Unit Campaign Link
Pte W T Shirley World War 1 5756 AIF 13th Btn view
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Sphinx Road
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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