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Portsmouth Naval Memorial

  • Text
  • Portsmouth
  • Navy
  • Naval
  • Ships
  • Bronze
  • Commemorated
  • Panels
  • Wanklyn
  • Upholder
  • Panel
  • Leaflet
  • Www.cwgc.org

NO GRAVE BUT THE SEA

NO GRAVE BUT THE SEA PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL Traditionally, sailors killed in conflict either went down with their ships or were buried at sea. After the First World War the Admiralty and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission built permanent memorials to preserve the memory of those who died. As a principal manning port for the Royal Navy, Portsmouth was one of three sites chosen. In 1946 the memorial was extended to commemorate navy personnel who died in the Second World War. Mothers, wives and sweethearts gathered where the names of the casualties of HMS Royal Oak have just been posted. Many of the 833 who died are commemorated on the memorial at Portsmouth. Set in a commanding position on the promenade at Southsea Common, and with magnificent views out to sea, the Portsmouth Naval Memorial is a much-loved local landmark. The obelisk and its surrounding walls record the names of over 24,000 men and women who lost their lives serving with the Royal Navy in the two World Wars, and who have no known grave. The Portsmouth memorial is one of three on the south coast of England, along with the other manning ports of Plymouth and Chatham. The architect Sir Robert Lorimer was tasked with designing three identical monuments of ‘unmistakable naval form’. Working with sculptor Henry Poole, he created tall obelisks to serve as leading marks to ships out at sea. At the top ships’ prows branch out, supporting representations of the four winds and a copper sphere symbolising the globe. After the Second World War, architect Edward Maufe complemented the obelisks with curved walls to hold new memorial panels, blended into the different landscapes at each site. All the memorials are notable for their striking sculptures of naval servicemen. HU 002687

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