World War II Gallery

Memorial plaques also line the walls of the World War II Gallery, each telling its own story of service and sacrifice in the defence of our nation.

Visitors are immediately invited to gather around a large interactive table comprising sixteen touchscreens arranged around a central column.  Reminiscent of a war room plotting table, these screens showcase a broad range of content to reveal the full extent of Queenslanders’ involvement in the Second World War.

Queensland’s wartime activity can be tracked across the screens from Brisbane to Townsville to the Torres Strait, and digitised photographs and collection items reveal stories from the Pacific War as well as North Africa and the Middle East. The screens link to each memorial plaque in the gallery and provide the history and achievements of each unit featured.

An interactive timeline follows the activities of US Forces in Queensland led by General Douglas MacArthur, and other screens explore the personal experiences of 12 Queenslanders who served, as well as the significant contribution made by Queensland women.

A large projection wall features evocative images of Queensland men and women at home and abroad, using a rich and engaging array of images sourced not only from State Library of Queensland’s collections but also from local, national and international organisations and never-before-seen private collections.

Concealed behind the projection wall panels, a special part of the gallery’s heritage is preserved.  In 1984, the Anzac Square WWII Memorial Gallery space became home to a large-scale glass mural designed by Mr Don Ross, a former Brisbane dentist and artist.  Commissioned as a memorial to World War II, the mosaic contains over 140,000 small enamelled glass tiles and has been described as ‘an abstract and allegorical depiction of four male figures, alluding to death and redemption, and symbolic of the universal sacrifices of men in war’.

While the mosaic is no longer on permanent display, it remains an important memorial and part of Anzac Square’s history and will be revealed and exhibited annually to coincide with the artist’s birthday in January. 

The Mosaic is currently on display from 15 Jan – 26 Jan 2020 during the Memorial Galleries opening hoursSign up to receive emails about what’s on at Anzac Square Memorial Galleries.

Other Memorial Galleries

Women looking at plaque on World War I gallery, Anzac Square

Start your journey inside the World War I Memorial Crypt, filled with ornate plaques and stories honouring the service and sacrifice of Queensland-associated battalions, regiments and other units.

Woman using touch screen in Post World War II Gallery

In this gallery you’ll hear more about Queensland’s role during times of war and peacekeeping, see how regional Queensland commemorates Anzac Day and view plaques from post-WWII battalions.  Take the time to leave a message to the fallen.