Italian Ossario

The Italian Ossario is located in the grounds of the cemetery at Murchison, Victoria.

Old Weir Road,
Murchison VIC 3610

During World War II, 4000 Italian, German and Japanese Prisoners of War were detained at Murchison. Those who died at Murchison were buried in the local cemetery but floods in 1956 did major damage to the graves. The Italian families in the municipality were persuaded by Luigi Gigliotti to pay for the building of a mausoleum - the Ossario.  Luigi also convinced authorities to bury all the Italian Prisoners of War and detainees who died in Australian prison camps in the mausoleum. The Ossario is the home of mass celebrations each year around the time of Remembrance Day.

The mausoleum, completed in 1961, is in Italian style. It is built of Castlemaine stone with Roman roof tiles, a campanile and an altar of Italian marble. Each year, on Remembrance Day, mass is celebrated before a large gathering. There is also an Italian war memorial and chapel.

The Ossario has been added to the Victorian Heritage Register, as part of commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. The site is one of only two foreign war cemeteries in Victoria and the only Australian war cemetery dedicated to Italian civilian internees and Prisoners of War (POWs). The Victorian Heritage Register noted its significant cultural values, evidenced by the Ossario itself and built in traditional Italian architectural style, the Murchison POW camp memorial, a memorial avenue of Italian cypress trees and the entry gates with bronze bas-relief plaques.