First World War Memorials

Tributes to the Fallen

First World War Memorials in the RIBA Collections

To mark 100 years since the end of World War One, RIBApix presents a collection of images showing both built and unexecuted First World War Memorials from around the world.

The devastating and unimaginable number of casualties as well as the destruction of large areas of Europe, led to The Great War of 1914-1918 being known at the time as “the war to end all wars”. Thousands of families around the world were affected, with many communities losing a large portion of their young, male population. Hundreds of villages and towns across Europe were badly damaged or in some cases destroyed by the war. In addition to the many lives lost, World War One also resulted in millions of soldiers returning home with both physical and mental scars, forever impacted by their participation in the conflict.

The monumental impact of The Great War globally resulted in a major shift in how nations commemorated it. Huge numbers of memorials were built around the world, with over 100,000 in France alone. Many towns and villages constructed small memorials to the men their communities had lost. Thousands of memorial walls of honour were put up in factories, railway stations, schools and universities to commemorate participants from institutions. The Royal Institute of British Architects’ memorial is outside of the Jarvis Hall at its headquarters at 66 Portland Place, to commemorate ‘members, licentiates and students’ who lost their lives in the First World War. The majority of these were paid for by the communities and institutions themselves.

Beyond these smaller more community driven memorials, larger ones were also built, driven by governments and international organisations. The Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) for example was set up to create memorials to soldiers from Great Britain and the wider commonwealth that had fought in the war, including the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. The Cenotaph, London’s most prominent memorial built after the First World War, was designed by Edwin Lutyens, initially a temporary structure made of wood and plaster, built as Whitehall’s monument for the London Victory Parade on 19 July 1919. On the 30th July that year, the British War Cabinet decided that a permanent war memorial should replace the temporary one. The final completed version, built from Portland Stone by Holland & Hannen and Cubitts, was unveiled by King George V on 11 November 1920, the second anniversary of the end of the First World War.

As well as the memorials constructed across the world, war cemeteries also represented a strong example of the way the First World War was commemorated. The Treaty of Versailles made all nations responsible for the maintenance of military graves within their countries. The countries of the soldiers interned there however, held control over the style and design of the cemeteries. Architecturally, most war memorials and war cemeteries built to commemorate the First World War were conservative in design, commonly following classical themes, attempting to provide a noble, enduring commemoration of the fallen.

To see additional images of war memorials from the First World War, Click here. To see images of war memorials from all conflicts, Click here.

Feature by Anthony Wilkinson.

 

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RIBA116874Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase and handrail

 
RIBA116875Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116876Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London


RIBA116877Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase

 
RIBA116878Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase from the upper floor

 
RIBA116879Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter at upper level


RIBA116880Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar area at ground level

 
RIBA116881Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter on the ground floor

 
RIBA116882Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop


RIBA116883Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
RIBA116884Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116885Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the passageway leading to the wine shop


RIBA116886Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116887Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116888Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: a wine trolley


RIBA116889Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the cutlery holder

 
RIBA116890Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116891Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase


RIBA116892Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase from the upper level

 
RIBA116893Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter at upper level

 
RIBA116894Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar area at ground floor level


RIBA116895Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
RIBA116896Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
RIBA116897Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the passageway leading to the wine shop


RIBA116898Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
RIBA116899Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116900Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London


RIBA116901Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London: the entrance

 
RIBA116902Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116903Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London