Battle of Britain Monument in London
The Battle of Britain Monument in London is a sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...
on the Victoria Embankment
The Victoria Embankment is part of the Thames Embankment, a road and river walk along the north bank of the River Thames in London. Victoria Embankment extends from the City of Westminster into the City of London.-Construction:...
overlooking the River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...
in central London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
which pays tribute to those who took part in the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...
during World War II. It was unveiled on 18 September 2005, the 65th anniversary of the Battle, by HRH the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...
and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall
Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall is the title held by the wife of the Duke of Cornwall. Duke of Cornwall is a non-hereditary peerage held by the British Sovereign's eldest son and heir....
in the presence of many of the surviving airmen known collectively as "The Few
The Few is a term used to describe the Allied airmen of the Royal Air Force who fought the Battle of Britain in the Second World War. It comes from Winston Churchill's phrase "Never, in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many to so few"....
", following the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...
Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication on Battle of Britain Sunday. This service is an annual event, taking place annually since 1943; the first service took place in St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...
and since has taken place in Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...
The monument was conceived by Bill Bond, founder of the Battle of Britain Historical Society, who was later awarded the MBE
MBE can stand for:* Mail Boxes Etc.* Management by exception* Master of Bioethics* Master of Bioscience Enterprise* Master of Business Engineering* Master of Business Economics* Mean Biased Error...
for his services to heritage. He was solely responsible for negotiating with the City of Westminster to secure the site of the monument, as well as appointing Donald Insall Associates as architects of the project. He also formed the fund-raising committee after raising over £250,000 through an appeal via the Daily Mail. The budget was £1.74 million which was funded in the main by private donations. Bill Bond appointed Lord Tebbit
Norman Beresford Tebbit, Baron Tebbit, CH, PC , is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet from 1981 to 1987 as Secretary of State for Employment...
as chairman of the fundraising committee.
The monument utilises a panelled granite structure 25 metres long which was originally designed as a smoke outlet for underground trains when they were powered by steam engines. A walkway was cut obliquely through the middle of the structure, and is lined with panels of high relief sculpture in bronze depicting scenes from the Battle of Britain. The centrepiece is an approximately life sized sculpture of airmen scrambling for their aircraft during the battle. The outside of the monument is lined with bronze plaques listing all the airmen who took part in the Battle on the Allied side.
The sculptor of the monument is Paul Day
Paul Day (sculptor)
Paul Day, born in 1967, is a British sculptor. His high-relief sculptures in terracotta, resin, and bronze have been exhibited widely in Europe and his work is known for its unusual approach to perspective.Major works include:...
and the architects are Donald Insall Associates. The statue was cast by Morris Singer
Morris Singer is a British art foundry, established in 1848, famous for its sculptures, including Eros, the lions at Trafalgar Square and the doors to the Bank of England, plus also the figures of Henry Moore....
, which is the oldest established fine art foundry in the world and has cast many prominent statues and sculptures in London and around the world, including the lions and fountains in Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...