Memorials Of The Great War
War Memorial Of The Month - August 2015
Royal Naval Division, London
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To protect and promote the spirit and substance of the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens OM
The memorial (consisting of an obelisk in a shallow bowl cum fountain), was built alongside the Admiralty Building on Horse Guards Parade, London and unveiled on Gallipoli Day (25 April) 1925 by Major-General Sir Archibald Paris, the commander of the Division at the defence of Antwerp in 1914. However, with the prospect of war in 1939, it was dismantled and put into storage to allow for the construction of the adjacent Citadel as a bombproof building for the Admiralty. It remained in storage until 1951 when, rather than return it to its original location , it was re-erected at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich in 1951.
The closure of the College in 1998 provided the happy opportunity to return the memorial to its original site and a
Location: Horse Guards Parade, London, SW1A 2AX
fundraising campaign was launched under the patronage of the Prince of Wales. Over £200,000 was raised which,together with support from the War Memorials Trust and the English Heritage Grant Scheme for War Memorials, was sufficient to pay for the relocation and, importantly, provide an endowment for future maintenance. The memorial was rededicated by the Prince of Wales on 13 November 2003, a date which commemorates the Division’s successful attack at Beaucourt-sur-l’Ancre in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
The most well known member of the Division was the poet, Rupert Brooke, who died en route to Gallipoli. Part of his sonnet “The Dead” is included on the memorial’s base.