Memorials Of The Great War
War Memorial Of The Month - December 2014
Civil Service Rifles, London
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To protect and promote the spirit and substance of the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens OM
The Civil Service Rifles (or, to give the regiment its full name, the 15th (County of London) Battalion, the London Regiment (Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles)) was raised, as its name suggests, from the ranks of the Civil Service and numbered the sculptor Henry Moore amongst its members.
The memorial takes the form of a classical pillar surmounted by an urn with flags (made of metal rather than stone) on either side - the Union Jack and the regimental colour. The pillar stands on a typical Lutyens undercut stone base around which are inscribed the names of battles in which the regiment fought. An inscription on the column records that there is a scroll within that contains the names of the fallen - a not uncommon feature of war memorials.
For many years the memorial stood in the middle of the courtyard at Somerset House, surrounded by parked cars - a far from sympathetic setting. However it was relocated to the river frontage when the courtyard was renovated in 2002 to make way for the fountains.
The memorial was unveiled on 27 January 1924 by HRH The Prince of Wales, the regiment's honorary colonel.
Location: River Terrace, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2