Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Bomber Command Memorial

"... who now stood thankful, in the early morning sun."
The Bomber Command Memorial, Green Park, is, by far, my favourite memorial, in the Unfinished City. There are countless others that I have visited, but there is something utterly unique about this memorial.

I don't know if it is the sheer scale of the memorial, or the detailing of the statues, or its setting at the corner of Green Park, that makes this my favourite, but there is something that keeps drawing me back to it, again and again.

In fact, I was so moved when I first saw it, that I ended up writing a poem the following day, entitled 'Morning Sun'.

Brief History

A memorial to Bomber Command had always been controversial, with many people believing that one shouldn't be built. Many of these opinions stemmed from some of the cities, like Dresden, that Bomber Command attacked, during in the last years of World War II. 

Finally, though, common sense won through and with donations from the public, various businessmen, celebrities and Lords, the £5.6 million needed was soon raised.

The memorial was built of Portland Stone, to a design by Liam O'Connor, while Philip Jackson sculpted the 9ft statues of the seven aircrew, who are depicted as though they have just returned from a flight.

Above the statues, the roof, which incorporates pieces of aluminium from a Handley Page Halifax, shot down in 1944, is open to the elements. This allows for the sky, day or night, to form the backdrop to the statues, when you look up at them.

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