RAF MEMORIAL / ROYAL AIR FORCE MEMORIAL

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Reference WMO/112046

Address:

Whitehall Stairs

Victoria Embankment

Westminster

London

SW1A 2NS

England

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War Memorials Trust case: War Memorials Trust needs to avoid Contributors changing location/description details as we help to protect and conserve this war memorial through our casework. You can still add photographs, update condition and use the tabs below. If you believe any of the information you cannot edit is wrong or information is missing, please make a note of the reference number and include it in your email when you contact us.

Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Roadside
Description: Composite
Materials:
  • Metal Bronze
  • Stone Portland stone
Lettering: Incised
Conflicts:
  • First World War (1914-1918)
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: Sir Reginald Blomfield was the architect and designer of this memorial. Sculptor: Sir William Reid Dick was the sculptor. The memorial was intended to be more grandiose but the location limited its size. Gilt bronze eagle on Portland stone column. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Westminster Walk: This memorial was originally built to remember the dead from the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps in WW1. But later when the RAF was formed it encompassed all air force personnel who died. The golden eagle at its top is the symbol of the air force. It sits on a globe, with signs of the zodiac radiating around it, and with its wings raised in flight. Note the quote from the Bible “I Bare you on Eagle’s wings and brought you unto myself”. The original discussions on how money raised for a memorial should be spent suggested a home for orphans of RAF personnel and other philanthropic uses but in addition there would be a memorial. The original design showed the eagle facing away from the river but the designer decided it would be better for it to be taking off over the river. In 1946 on Battle of Britain Sunday Lord Trenchard (who had led the appeal) unveiled the extra WW2 inscriptions and thereafter, on this anniversary, the Chief of Air Staff places a wreath on his way to a Thanksgiving Service at Westminster Abbey. On Remembrance Sunday a very large wreath in the shape of “wings” is placed by the memorial at dawn. Designer: Sir Reginald Blomfield Sculptor: Sir William Reid Dick
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Per Ardua ad Astra

Grade II* (England)

1066171

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