Tag: Wellington Arch

The Machine Gun Corps Memorial

The Machine Gun Corps Memorial,  is located on the north side of the traffic island at Hyde Park Corner near the Wellington Arch. The memorial is also known as “The Boy David” as it depicts a 2.7m bronze statue of a nude David by Francis Derwent Wood.  The figure stands with one hand on his hip and the other resting on Goliath’s oversized sword.  On either side of the plinth are  bronze models of a Vickers machine gun, wreathed in laurels.

I have to be honest though, I did not really feel any connection to the memorial, unlike the Royal Artillery Memorial that conveys so much emotion in the oversized bronze figures that make up a part of the overall memorial. 

The memorial is inscribed:

ERECTED TO 
COMMEMORATE 
THE GLORIOUS 
HEROES 
OF THE 
MACHINE GUN
CORPS 
WHO FELL IN 
THE GREAT  WAR.

Below the inscription is a quotation from 1 Samuel 18:7:

“Saul has slain his thousands 
but David his tens of thousands
“.  

The memorial was originally erected next to Grosvenor Place, near Hyde Park Corner, but was dismantled in 1945 and eventually rededicated at its present location in 1963. It was upgraded to a Grade II* listed building (particularly important buildings of more than special interest) in July 2014.

DRW © 2013-2018. Retrospectively created 25/08/2018

Updated: 04/06/2018 — 06:20

The Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial is situated on the same island as the Wellington Arch, Royal Artillery Memorial   and the New Zealand War Memorial.

Wellington Arch and the Memorials in the area

Wellington Arch and the Memorials in the area

It was dedicated in 2003 to the 102000 Australian dead of the First and Second World Wars.

The Memorial from Wellington Arch

The Memorial from Wellington Arch

It is difficult to take in the memorial from ground level, or to really appreciate how many names are on the memorial.

Names.

Names.

The memorial is best described as a semicircular curved wall of grey-green Western Australian granite, with the names of 47 battles in which Australia was involved and the names of 23844 towns in which the soldiers were born, carved into it, and with water running down over the names.

The Memorial

The Memorial

The Memorial

The Memorial

The memorial was designed by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects and the artist Janet Laurence. It was unveiled on Armistice Day 2003 (11 November) by Queen Elizabeth II in her role as Queen of Australia.

Dedication

Dedication

Armed Forces of Australia

Armed Forces of Australia

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 07/03/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 07:35

Royal Artillery Memorial

In the area where Wellington Arch is, there are a number of War Memorials, one of which is the Royal Artillery Memorial. I did not see this memorial at its best, in fact it was looking decidedly green when I was there.

Wellington Arch and the Memorials in the area

Wellington Arch and the Memorials in the area

Royal Artillery Memorial

Royal Artillery Memorial

Neither was the weather very helpful on the occasions when I was taking photographs here. Even on the day I visited Wellington Arch I still could not get a sunny image of the memorial. However, World War 1 was not about sunny days, the all pervading view gained through black and white imagery is of cold and wet weather with gray leaden skies. Trying to imagine a battle like the Somme in colour would be almost impossible. Fortunately the sun did shine on me once.

The memorial on a sunny day

The memorial on a sunny day (Arch side)

Street side of the memorial

Street side of the memorial

Rear aspect of the memorial with the fallen artilleryman figure

Rear aspect of the memorial with the fallen artilleryman figure

The memorial is very rich in plaques, inscriptions and reliefs, but I think that the 4 bronze figures are what really make it stand out the most. In my opinion the most poignant of all is that of the fallen artilleryman. The inscription around the base reads “A Royal Fellowship of Death”.

The Fallen Artilleryman

The Fallen Artilleryman

In the front of the memorial is the figure of the Driver, he seems to look down on passers by as if to ask them whether they are worthy of the sacrifice that was made.

The Driver

The Driver

The gun portrayed on the memorial is 9.2-inch Mk I howitzer, and it was described by Lord Curzon as “a toad squatting, which is about to spit fire out of its mouth…nothing more hideous could ever be conceived”.

9.1" Breech loading Howitzer

9.2″ Breech loading howitzer

It is an incredibly powerful memorial, and generated a lot of criticism by those who had not manned the guns or been in the trenches, but overall the old soldiers seemed to understand the message that it carried.

The memorial’s main inscription on the west and east faces reads

“IN PROUD REMEMBRANCE OF THE
FORTY NINE THOUSAND AND SEVENTY-SIX
OF ALL RANKS OF THE
ROYAL REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING
AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918″

Commemoration inscription

Commemoration inscription

In 2009 an addition plaque as added to the many already there.

THIS PANEL WAS ADDED TO
COMMEMORATE THE 29,924 OF ALL
RANKS OF THE ROYAL ARTILLERY
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR KING
AND COUNTRY IN ALL PARTS OF THE
WORLD DURING THE WAR OF 1939-1945
+ THEY DIED WITH THE FAITH THAT
THE FUTURE OF ALL MANKIND WOULD
BENEFIT BY THEIR SACRIFICE. +
QUO FAS ET GLORIA

2009 Commemoration Plaque

2009 Commemoration Plaque

One of the relief panels on the memorial

One of the relief panels on the memorial

This memorial does not pull any punches, it is raw, emotional, and very powerful. It does not excuse itself or the men that are remembered here, and it does an excellent job of it too.

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 07/03/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 07:35
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