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Temporary War Shrine

Gazetteer No. G0303

Date 1918

Address London, Greater London England


A temporary war shrine, erected in Hyde Park in August 1918, seemed to meet the needs of millions who laid their tributes before it. Lutyens was asked by Sir Alfred Mond, First Commissioner of Works, to design a more fitting monument. Lutyens’s design incorporated a monolithic stone, identical to the Great War Stone later adopted for the War Graves Commission’s cemeteries, flanked by pylons. Lutyens wrote to his wife on August 30 that ‘The two pylons represent God and Man. The War Stone is flanked by these monolithic watching-pavilions, glorified sentry boxes, carrying fir-cones – emblems of eternity…Below the platform on which these structures and the great stone rest is a bench approached by six steps, and a landing where wreaths may be laid…There is the inscription for the stone…I want one phrase, one word, and the same to ring the world. OPQRST is what I have put on the model – six consecutive letters from the alphabet. A long inscription would not have the same effect…’ (Amery et al, 1981, cat no.290)


Amery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G., (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981 – 31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.

Also Cited In

CONWAY, M., 1918. THE PROPOSED TEMPORARY WAR SHRINE IN HYDE PARK. Country Life (Archive : 1901 – 2005), 44(1133), pp. 246.

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