Hall of Memory - The Mosaics

The artworks in the Hall of Memory had not been installed by the end of the Second World War, but it was decided that the stained-glass windows would still be dedicated to the First World War, and the Second was to be commemorated in the wall mosaics. The erect, formal posture and large eyes of the figures recall classical Greek sculptures and the Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna in Italy, which Waller visited in the 1920s.

The Women's Services

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The servicewoman wears a blouse and skirt that were the same in all the women's services, whose badges are seen below her left hand. The many sacrifices and disasters suffered by servicewomen are symbolised by the centaur, a symbol of the hospital ship Centaur which was sunk with the loss of all but one of the nurses. The falling bombs are a reminder that often the servicewoman too was a victim of war.

The Navy

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On the fore-deck the sailor in summer uniform prepares to hoist the Navy's white ensign as the ship goes into action. Behind him the nautical compass is a reminder of the Navy's service in all seas. Above him on the superstructure of the ship is an Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun; the beams of searchlights sweep the sky, suggesting vigilance and danger.

The Army

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After the years of war to defend freedom, the soldier has packed his kitbag and is preparing to return home. Many have died, but the light indicates the triumph of the spirit over death. In the beams of light shining behind him we can see the ascending spirits of his fallen comrades.

The Air Force

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In the ruins of a cathedral, the airman stands and surveys the destruction of this emblem of human ideals. A grotesque medieval sculpture grins down from above; below, the decapitated saint and amputated hand and book represent the destruction of a sacred place which it took centuries to build.

Read about the pillars in the Hall of Memory
Pillars