Mumbrella on me minding Ben Fordham's 2GB Sydney Live show over Christmas
Remembrance Day 2013 - Director of the AWM Brendan Nelson explains his plans to commemorate Paul Keating

What makes the Australian warrior?

(Mervyn) Napier Waller came from Penshurst in South West Victoria.   He trained as an artist in th early 1900s and when the First World War came he enlisted and saw action in France in 1916.

He was wounded in action and had his right arm amputated.  After the war he learned to write and work with his left hand.

You can read more abou his work on the defining characteristics of our fighting men and the women who served with them here.


Designed by Napier Waller each one of the Hall of Memory's fifteen stained glass windows represents a defining quality of Australian servicemen and women, incorporating images of Australian soldiers, airmen, sailors and a nurse, all from the First World War. The windows are divided into three sets of qualities.

The South Window represents personal qualities.

  • Resource: an aircraftsman. Symbols are a clamp vice, an electric arc, the sword severing the Gordian Knot, and the flame of invention.
  • Candour: a signaller. Main symbol, the open flower. Above, an owl's head fountain and three arrowheads suggest frankness of expression.
  • Devotion: a nurse. Symbols, the Red Cross; the Australian coat of arms; and the sign of charity (the pelican feeding her young from her bleeding breast).
  • Curiosity: the uniform is that of a trench-mortar battery. The Winged Crown denotes reward of knowledge from inquiry. Above is the symbol of "The Inquiring Eye".
  • Independence: a naval captain. Details a gyroscope (a striking feature of which is that when set rotating it maintains, independently, its set direction), and the "Stand-off" signal (three red lamps vertical).

South window

The West Window represents social qualities.

  • Comradeship: a Lewis gunner. The "music pipes" (the reed Pipes of Pan) clustered and bound together are symbols of fellowship and good cheer (the ancient symbol for unity was a bundle of bound twiggs).
  • Ancestry: a naval gunner in anti-flash helmet and gauntlets. The wreath indicates reverence for the renowned; the book, traditional knowledge; cricket stumps and ball, traditional recreation; church spire, the European tradition of Christianity. The naval flag mans "Engage the enemy at close quarters". Above is the naval crown.
  • Patriotism: an infantryman. The stars of the Southern Cross are superimposed. "Trumpet-shafts" denote the urge for service and love of country. Above are the crown, orb and lion.
  • Chivalry: an airman. The symbols are medieval - the rose of chivalry, tilting spurs, visored helmet and the Cross of St. George denoting generosity to a conquered opponent.
  • Loyalty: artilleryman holding director. Symbols, the AIF badge with "AIF" superimposed. Above, a column with flames (loyalty to a cause or ideal).

West window

The East Window represents fighting qualities.

  • Coolness: (in action, especially in crisis) - an infantry officer in trench-coat. The Prismatic symbol and the "shield of Medusa" above stand for coolness and confidence when facing adverse situations.
  • Control: (of self and others) - an infantryman in greatcoat. The symbols are a ratchet wheel, calipers and measured square; above, the shepherd's crook and crossed sword and baton.
  • Audacity: - a lighthorseman. The quality is symbolised by a "winged energy"; and above by and alighting eagle and ascending arrowheads.
  • Endurance: - a wounded soldier with broken "shard of war". Symbols - the pyramid, and, below, the column carved in rock, both denote stability and physical endurance.
  • Decision: - an Australian soldier in dress worn at ANZAC. A target, bared sword and emblematic spear all denote directness in carrying out an aim.

East window