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University of Melbourne

The University has become a site in which the bereaved have memorialised those who died in the war, and a site in which the service has been recognised.



Our War Memorial, University of Melbourne, circa May 1926, UMA/I/995, University of Melbourne Archives.

Bereaved relatives of soldiers killed in the two World Wars have sought to memorialise their kin at the University. Scholarships were created to enable students opportunities denied their own children, and other benefactions supported children of parents incapacitated by war service.

The University War Memorial cenotaph was supported by £1000 raised by a University War Memorial Committee. The committee’s secretary, who liaised with the University Council, was the lecturer in English, Enid Derham, and its membership included the professor of anthropology, Baldwin Spencer. The cenotaph was designed by an architectural student in the Architectural Atelier, William Lacey, although his original design, featuring bronze-chain fencing and stone benches, proved to be too costly. An artillery piece was included on a stone platform that has since been removed.

Other World War One memorials include:

  • The clock in the Old Arts tower is a memorial to the dentist Edward Toynbee Stephens who died on the Western front in 1917
  • A plaque for Arthur Rothera, Australia’s first lecturer in biochemistry who died before embarkation in 1915, located in the Medical Building.
  • 1917 John Melvin Memorial Scholarship (£1,000). Given by James Gossip Melvin and Margaret Drew Melvin, in memory of their son killed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 – for engineering students
  • 1918 Mathison Lectures (£220). Subscribers raised funds for memorial to Gordon Clunes McKay Mathison MD DSc, captain of Australian Army Medical Corps, killed Gallipoli, 18 May 1915. The lectures in medical science were held triennially.
  • 1918 Keith Levi Memorial Scholarship in medicine (£1,000). Given by Joseph and Kate Levi in memory of Keith Maurice Levi, MBBS, killed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, 7 August 1915.
  • 1919 Robert Bage Memorial Scholarship engineering (£1,000) to memorialise Edward Frederick Robert Bage BE (civil), killed Gallipoli, 7 May 1915. Bage was also a member of Mawson’s 1911 Antarctic Expedition.
  • 1921 Victorian Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Fund (£1,000), with which the University created scholarships for returned soldiers or sailors.
  • 1921, Rest Home Voluntary Aid Bursary (£307 7s. 2d.) for children of men killed or ‘totally incapacitated’ by World War One.
  • 1922 Guy Miller Tutorship in Operative Surgery (£1,000). Presented by Mrs Albert Miller as a memorial to her son, Captain Albert Guy Miller, MBBS, RAMC, killed at war in 1915.
  • 1924 Royal Victorian Institute of Architects Memorial Scholarship. (£50 annually) For architectural students ‘whose studies have suffered through loss of a relative in the Great War’, or failing that to returned servicemen or sons of returned servicemen.
  • 1926 Alwyn Stewart Memorial Scholarship (£1,000) in medicine. Mr and Mrs Randal J. Alcock created the memorial scholarship in name of nephew Major Cedric Alwyn Stewart MD, killed Borre, Franch, 28 April 1918 ‘whilst attending to the wounds of a fellow officer’
  • 1931 Ritchie memorial. Given by Robert Blackwood Ritchie, a memorial to his son Cap. Robert Blackwood Ritchie, MC, killed in France, 1916. The funds (£30,000) endowed a ‘Ritchie Professor of Research in Economics’.


    H. Grant, ‘Sketch of Old Arts tower, University of Melbourne, 1925′, UMA/I/1093, University of Melbourne Archives.

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