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Shrine’s hidden message

Shrine of Remembrance
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Buried underneath the Shrine of Remembrance was a message from the diggers who came home from the First World War.

The former soldiers, who came back and built Melbourne’s Shrine, left two plaques deep under the building.

Almost 100 years on from the Gallipoli campaign, the Shrine has had a $45 million upgrade.

The diggers’ plaques were found when builders dug below the foundations to build the Galleries of Remembrance rooms.

The Victorian government has tried to contact the family of “Lewis” whose name was on one of the plaques, but has had no luck yet.

Major Projects minister David Hodgett said the project was three months ahead of schedule and would be open this year.

“One of the highlights of the exhibition space will be a lifeboat used during the Gallipoli landing from the troop and hospital ship SS Devanha, on long-term loan from the Australian War Memorial,” Mr Hodgett told reporters on Sunday.

The original shrine was largely funded by public donation and built by returned servicemen during the Great Depression.

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign.