The Hall of Memory, Birmingham

The major War Memorial in Birmingham is the Hall of Memory. I visited it on 10 April 2014, and it was a very pretty structure, although I do expect many people have very little idea of what it is or represents. The Hall of Memory was built to commemorate the 12320 Birmingham citizens who died and the 35000 who were wounded in the First World War.

When I arrived that morning it was still closed (it opens at 10am), so I was able to have a look at the four statues that surround it. Each representing a branch of the armed service as well as the Women’s Service.

Inside the chamber it is solemn, and the centerpiece is a sarcophagus-shaped dais in which are two Rolls of Honour from both World Wars.

A further Roll of Honour is in a glass case behind the main one, and this is for those who lost their lives in further conflicts after the Second World War.

In each of the four corners there are niches that are currently holding the many wreaths and tributes that were made since Remembrance Day, and Poppy Crosses surround the central dias.

Three bas-reliefs are affixed high up on each wall, and they each have a message for those left behind.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them

See to it that they shall not have suffered and died in vain.

Of 150000 who answered the call to arms 12320 fell and 35000 came home disabled

The Hall of Memory was designed by S. N. Cooke and W. Norman Twist and was opened by H.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught on 4th July 1925.

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