Tower Hill Merchant Navy Memorial

This memorial was one of the surprise finds I made in London in 2008, and I did not have a lot of time to photograph it all. Sighted within walking distance of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, it’s a place of awe for all the lives that are listed on its walls. This also makes it one of the more difficult memorials to photograph.

The original Tower Hill Memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was begun in 1927 and unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Mary on 12 December 1928 and is built of Portland stone. The 1914-18 monument consists of a vaulted corridor 21.5 metres long, 7 metres wide and 7 to 10 metres high, open at either end. It has three wide openings at front and back in which are placed pairs of columns and is surmounted by a solid pediment bearing the dedicatory inscription. The names of the dead are arranged alphabetically under their ships and inscribed on bronze panels covering the eight main masonry piers which support the roof.


When the question arose of commemorating the men of the Merchant Navy who lost their lives during the 1939-45 War and have no known grave, it was agreed a new Memorial should be combined with the existing Tower Hill Memorial to form a complete whole. The architect, Sir Edward Maufe, achieved this by designing a semi-circular sunken garden adjoining the 1914-18 memorial.

toThe memorial is difficult to describe as the amount of names on it are staggering. Trying to find a way to adequately encompass everything about it is almost impossible, and as such I can only really add in odd photographs to help convey what I saw.

 

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