RAF Bomber Command Memorial, Green Park

Where: Green Park

What: WWII memorial predominantly to the RAF bomber command crews. A classical style columnar structure housing a statue of seven RAF airmen, surrounded on all sides and on the plinth by lettering. The roof of the memorial is made from the metal of a Royal Canadian Aircraft Halifax aircraft which had been recovered in 1997 in Geraardsbergen, Flanders.

Words: (Not including the names of multiple sponsors on the exterior of the monument, in both niches and on foundation stones at the front of the structure)

Plinth: Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it – Pericles

Left interior wall: The fighters are our salvation but the bombers alone provide the means of victory –  Winston Churchill. September 1940

Right interior wall: This memorial is dedicated to the 55,573 airmen from the United Kingdom, British Commonwealth & allied nations who served in RAF Bomber Command & lost their lives over the course of the Second World War

Frieze beneath ceiling: This memorial also commemorates those of all nations who lost their lives in the bombing of 1939 – 1945

Surrounding skylight in roof: Per Ardua ad Astra (RAF motto)

Materials: bronze sculptures, granite plinth, stone structure

Artists: Richard Kindersley (lettering); Philip Jackson (sculptor)

Architect: Liam O Connor

Date: 2012

Further information:

A summary of certain architectural critic views:
The memorial has courted controversy on several counts, albeit it enjoys popular approval. With regards to the architecture – the positioning, scale and classicism of the structure has drawn negative comment. The reverse side of the monument is close to an underpass meaning that from the road, the structure is not seen to best advantage. Within Green Park, several trees had to be removed to accommodate it. The subject matter is by nature morally complex (the RAF bombers who lost their lives were victims of war, but their actions led to civilian loss of life) yet this subtlety is not reflected in the structure. The repeated naming of benefactors on various faces of the monument is also a moot point.

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