Wednesday, March 01, 2023

RAF Bomber Command Memorial

London The Unfinished City

It was on my first visit to the memorial that I began to write more about London and its history, which led me to create this blog. 

London The Unfinished City

The memorial, itself, is an amazing piece of work that inspired me to write a number of pieces about it. That is how much of an impact that it had on me.

London The Unfinished City

Should you find yourself in London's fourth largest Royal Park, then you should definitely take in this huge memorial.
Brief history

The Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park is one of London's most impressive memorials, although it has seen its share of controversy.

During Sir Winston Churchill's speech, in 1945, Bomber Command was not mentioned, although he did say that bombers were "the means of victory" in 1940.

London The Unfinished City

Sitting on the south side of Piccadilly, opposite Hyde Park Corner, the memorial is built of Portland Stone and, at its centre, has a 9-foot bronze sculpture of seven aircrew.

The memorial was designed by Liam O'Connor with Philip Jackson designing the bronze statues, which depict an aircrew after they have returned from a flight.

The scale of the sculpture means that you can always see the profile of the sculpture against the sky above them.

London The Unfinished City

The roof is open to the elements which allows for the sun to shine down on the seven airmen. Around the opening is aluminium from a Handley Page Halifax III bomber (LW682 from No. 426 squadron), which had been discovered in a Belgian swamp in 1997. When the aircraft was excavated three aircrew were still at their positions within the aircraft. They were buried with full military honours.

The memorial commemorates the sacrifice of 55,573 aircrew from Britain, Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand, Poland and other allied countries, as well as those civilians from all nations who were killed during raids.

London The Unfinished City

The memorial was unveiled by HM Queen Elizabeth II on June 28, 2012, in front 6000 veterans and family members of those killed. The Avro Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew over the ceremony, dropping red poppy petals over Green Park.


Many believe that Bomber Commands strategy of bombing raids, which were often imprecise, led to heavy civilian casualties, so a memorial had always been a controversial point. The fact that these bombing raids hastened the end of World War II seems to be forgotten.

London The Unfinished City

In 2013 the memorial was vandalised with graffiti, along with the nearby Animals in War Memorial.

The memorial is maintained by the RAF Benevolent Fund.

No comments:

Post a Comment