In June 1927, Council proposed inscribing these names on a memorial. After realising that planned locations at Caulfield Park and the intersection of Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads were impractical for so many names, the 1930 redevelopment of Caulfield Town Hall offered a solution.
The redevelopment included addition of the clocktower and reconstruction of the main hall. The Glen Eira road side got a new entrance, which included a ’colonnade portico opening on to a spacious memorial foyer, with a marble dado surmounted by bronze tablets.’ Inscribed on those tablets were the names of all Caulfield residents who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces.
Council officially unveiled the magnificent bronze and marble memorial on 25 February 1931, with a memorial held two months later. Council also presented certificates to local returned servicemen and women and to bereaved families.
The Honor Roll features 31 large bronze panels with 1,554 names listed in alphabetical order. The title and dedication sits above the first nine panels and reads:
City of Caulfield Honor Roll
Erected to the honor of the living and the glory of the dead who served in the Great War 1914–1919
Based on Council records, it appears that people needed to live in the City of Caulfield when they enlisted to be eligible. At the time of its construction, the municipality of Caulfield included the suburbs of Elsternwick, Balaclava, St Kilda East, Carnegie, Murrumbeena, Glen Huntly and Gardenvale.
In 2015, Victorian Government funding allowed for expert restoration by the University of Melbourne’s Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. This involved vacuuming the bronze and marble panels to remove dust and dirt, filling losses in the marble plaster, and smoothing and painting to match the veins and colours within the existing marble. This ensured that current and future generations can revere this highly significant memorial.
Glen Eira City Council gratefully acknowledges the Victorian Government’s support through the Restoring Community War Memorials and Avenue of Honour Grants Programs to assist in the restoration of the Town Hall WWI Honor Roll.