War Memorials

We had Top 10 Works of Public Art last week, but I thought we should have a separate category for war memorials. Here are the ones that I think best combine beauty and dignity, and which bring an unexpected prickle to the eyes.

  1. Tjentiste Monument in Bosnia and Herzegovina Commemorates the Battle of the Sutjeska against the Germans in 1943. Nominated by Alen Mattich.
  2. Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme Designed by Edwin Lutyens. Proposed by Labour History Group.
  3. The Civil War memorial at the Commandery, Worcester Commemorating the final battle of the English Civil War, in 1651. Suggested by Adam Care.
  4. Royal Artillery Memorial, Hyde Park “Here was a royal fellowship of death,” reads the inscription. “This is, I think, is London’s saddest war memorial,” says Daniel Hannan.
  5. The Brooding Soldier The Canadian memorial at Vancouver Corner on the Ypres Salient in Belgium. From Auntie Shaz.
  6. The Motherland Calls, Volgograd An 87m-high statue in the city that was formerly Stalingrad. “I know it’s OTT and the product of Stalinism but I like it,” says Matt Prissick.
  7. Tower of London Remembers Ceramic poppies by Paul Cummins, with setting by Tom Piper. “The best new piece of public-realm art for years,” believes Mark Pack.
  8. Air Forces Memorial, Runnymede “They leave a landing light on each night for all pilots still lost and not returned to base,” says Warren Row of this Surrey Grade II-listed building.
  9. Soldier Field, Chicago The 1924 American football stadium built as a memorial to US soldiers who died in wars. Now home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears. With thanks to Duncan Weldon.
  10. Jacobite memorial at Glenfinnan A solitary kilted highlander atop an 18m-high column, nominated by Alex Massie. Bad cause, fine monument. Might be my favourite.

Originally published in the Independent on 9th November 2014.


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