Historical information

The Honor Roll and Shrine in the Surrey Gardens were opened on Sunday 7 April 1918, prior to the cessation of fighting. Mrs Charles H D Steele (MS: Sarah Margaret Russell), president of the local Patriotic League, is credited with the idea of building The Shrine as a fitting memorial to the soldiers of the district.
The Surrey Hills Progress Association coordinated raising funds from local residents. John Kendrick Blogg carved the beautiful honor roll in Indian teak and Australian white mahogany and the design of The Shrine was by architectural firm Gawler & Drummond. John Stevens Gawler was a partner in the firm, lived locally and also enlisted. Although he may have been overseas during some of the design process he is often credited with the design. Both men donated their services.
The 2 cannons in the gardens were acquired by Mr Arthur Brookes in 1901 to commemorate the end of the Boer War. He was popularly known as 'Empire Brooks' and the cannons as 'Brooks' Babies'. They were originally placed in the grounds of the Guildford Road Recreation Oval. Arthur Brooks was an active community member and one of the founding members of the Surrey Hills Progress Association.
Original photo was contained in a booklet printed by Camberwell Council in 1933.


This is one of the earliest known photos of 3 elements important in designating the Surrey Gardens as one of the City of Boroondara's heritage gardens, now protected by a heritage overlay. The Shrine was one of the first WW1 memorials to be built in Australia and possibly the first in Victoria. It was unveiled prior to the end of hostilities and was built entirely through local community effort. The design of The Shrine, reflective of domestic architecture, is unusual. Its Honor Roll is also a noted example of sculptor John Kendrick Blogg's work and valued especially for its incorporation of Australian motifs, wattle blossom and gum leaves. The boomerang over the full width of the monument was said to be symbolic of both those who did and did not return.

Physical description

Black and white photo of part of the Surrey Gardens, located between Union Road and Norfolk Road, Surrey Hills. It shows The Shrine, the cannons installed to commemorate the end of the Boer War and the Memorial Cross. Taken from within the park looking east.