The Bendigo Military Museum (BMM) is a living Memorial with a proud history of honouring the service and sacrifice of the Central Victorians that have participated in war and peacekeeping operations. But it is also a world-class museum and the home of a substantial archive. It is more than a building or collection of artefacts – it’s a place for people to connect, learn, and reflect together. Step inside the BMM and explore a world where every artefact tells a story: feel the weight of a soldier’s gear, hear the roar of gunfire in the trenches, cry over a letter sent home to a loved one, and reflect on the sacrifices that our local heroes have been making on behalf of their communities for over a century.
The Soldiers Memorial Institute (SMI) is the building that houses the BMM. It was designed by local architect GD Garvin, was largely funded by public subscription, and was built on the site of the capped Hustlers Royal Reserve Mine. Officially opened by the then Governor the Earl of Stradbroke on the 15th November 1921, the Memorial commemorates the thousands of local men and women who served during the Great War.
The SMI is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register due to its social and historical significance to the State of Victoria. It is also listed as architecturally significant as its iconic dome provides an ‘unusual example’ of a Memorial that was designed to accommodate a full band rotunda on its roof!
The series of brass Honour Rolls on the front of the SMI list the names of 2,972 local heroes, including 42 nurses, and was unveiled on ANZAC Day 1926. At least 499 of the people listed on the Honour Rolls lost their lives during WW1, never returning home to their loved ones and our beautiful City.
For over a century the BMM has stood as a Memorial and RSL Club Rooms, gradually transforming into one of the largest Memorial Museums in the country. Following a comprehensive 2-year modernisation and redevelopment project, costing $5.1 million, the BMM was officially reopened in 2018. Today the Museum’s world-class exhibits include a permanent display commemorating the role and experiences of our local heroes in both WW1 and WW2 in our main hall; and a state-of-the-art temporary exhibition space that plays host to a series of rotating exhibitions throughout the year.
Visitors to the BMM can also explore the RSL History Room, and a spacious education and display area in what is fondly known as the Billiards Room. This particular space is slated for future redevelopment – envisioning a narrative that unfolds the stories of our community’s younger Veterans and their roles in recent conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Step inside the BMM, meet our local heroes, and see history unfold before your eyes.
The Museum gift shop is fully stocked for all of your merchandise needs, whether you want a magnet, stubby holder, book, t-shirt or necklace there is bound to be something for you – see our friendly team for prices and information. By making a purchase at our gift shop, you contribute to the preservation and promotion of our history. All proceeds go towards supporting the Bendigo Military Museum’s mission to educate, inspire, and honour the sacrifices of those who have served.
Uncover the stories, pay homage to the heroes, and find the perfect memento at the Bendigo Military Museum Gift Shop. Shop with us today and let history become a part of your journey!
The BMM’s iconic dome is a landmark of the Bendigo skyline. Originally built as a band rotunda, it is an intimate space with brilliant acoustics, a storied history, and an unrivalled vantage point of Charring Cross, Pall Mall, and the Old Post Office building. Closed to the general public for decades, The Dome is now available for private bookings and will play host to a series of exclusive events throughout the year. Picture this: ‘Summer in the Dome’ painting sessions, proposal packages, cosy concerts underneath the stars, or securing VIP viewing for Bendigo’s famous Easter Parade. ‘Become a Friend’ of the BMM to be the first to hear about this new initiative!
The Soldiers Memorial Institute has implemented a new website
remembering those that died in World War 1.
Victorian Collections is a digital archive where you can search
thousands of items held by galleries, museums, libraries, archives,
historical societies and cultural collections across the state of
Victoria’s national memorial honouring the service and sacrifice
of Australians in war and peacekeeping.
The AWM combines a shrine, museum and extensive archive. The Memorial’s purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war or on operational service and those who have served our nation in times of conflict. Its mission is leading remembrance and understanding of Australia’s wartime experience.
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