To protect and promote the spirit and substance of the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens OM
Lutyens's war memorial in Colombo, which takes the form of a victory column, deserves to be more widely known. It takes the form of a slender victory column mounted on a typical Lutyens undercut base. Some of the details, such as the oak leaf carving on the shaft and the four birds of prey around the base of the shaft were to appear shortly afterwards in the more well-known Jaipur Column outside the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Lutyens had originally intended that the top of the column would be a brazier that would be a “column of smoke by day and of fire by night”. His wife, Lady Emily saw it when she stopped in Colombo in 1925 on her way back from Australia: “It looked like the eye of a needle, and I did not like it very much. I understand that it is meant for a flame but without the light it looks very odd”. The memorial, located on Galle Face Green, was unveiled by the Governor, Sir William Manning on 23 October 1923. However with the advent of World War Two it was dismantled because it was felt that it would be a bombing target for Japanese aircraft. The memorial was re-erected on a new site and the peristyle incorporating tablets with the names of the later dead (not by Lutyens) was then added.
Location: Vihara Maha Devi Park