10 (more) curious London memorials…5. National Police Memorial…

August 14, 2013

National-Police-Memorial

The unobtrusive box-like structure and adjacent glass pillar located on the corner of The Mall and Horse Guards Road in Whitehall is another memorial that is easy to overlook.

Unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005, it commemorates the 4,000 police officers who have been killed in the course of their duty in the UK and was commissioned by the Police Memorial Trust.

Police-Memorial-TrustThe trust was formed in the mid-1980s by the late film director Michael Winner following the shooting death of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, who was killed while policing a protest outside the Libyan Embassy in St James’s Square on 17th April, 1984.

The Trust ensured an individual memorial to WPC Fletcher now marked the spot of her death and was followed by further memorials to individual police officers before the trust began a campaign for a larger, national memorial in the mid-1990s.

As much as £2.3 million was raised from the public for the memorial which was designed by architectural firm Foster + Partners.

The memorial, which won a RIBA award, consists of a black granite clad wall with a glass chamber set into its face, inside which is a Book of Remembrance listing the names of all UK police officers killed in the course of duty (the pages of the book are apparently turned every two weeks). Above the chamber is carved the Metropolitan Police Crest.

The tall glass pillar which stands nearby in a reflecting pool was designed to pay homage to the blue lamps that once burned outside police stations.

For more on other police memorials in the UK, see www.policememorial.org.uk.

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