HUMS507 Minor Research Project, Student 220154015 The Sutherland War Memorial and Experiences of Australian Men and Women of the Sutherland Shite at War in WWI (1914-1918) (Trimester 3, 2016/17)
This project is a cultural history of local Australian commemorative practices after World War One in Sutherland, Sutherland Shire, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It explores the relationship between the development of local community representations of war through the function of material culture in local community life. The argument proceeds in three steps. Firstly, the concept of World War One as trauma for Australians is introduced in order to provide the context for the rise of the war memorial movement in Australia. Secondly, cultural biographical historiography is discussed as a method for understanding local communities through monuments and material culture. Finally, the role of the Sutherland war memorial in particular is analysed with regard to constructed meanings of commemoration in the local community of Sutherland through its establishment, location, relocation, role in public life, ceremony and representation of war as ultimately bringing peace, order and stability. Therefore, Sutherland war memorial emphasises communal unity as the main purpose of war commemoration.