Temporary memorials – part one

We usually think of memorials as permanent reminders but, in fact, some memorials were only ever intended to be temporary.

Probably the most notable of these is The Cenotaph in Whitehall.  This was originally conceived as a temporary memorial.  Constructed from wood and painted white, it was erected in 1919. However, it proved so popular with the public that it was replaced with a permanent replica in Portland Stone the following year. 

It was a similar situation in several other towns and cities after the First World War, where temporary wooden memorials were later replaced with stone, such as Wolverton, Buckinghamshire, Maidenhead in Berkshire and Hereford.

A more unusual temporary memorial could be found at Pateley Bridge (click to see photo) where a memorial was built from snow, as a protest at how long it was taking to erect a permanent memorial.

In Bradford they constructed a detailed replica of the Whitehall Cenotaph.  This in itself was not unusual, what was however, was the choice of material – topiary! (Click to see photo of Bradford Temporary Cenotaph).

An unusual temporary memorial dating from the Second World War was a portrait gallery in the Colchester Gas Company showroom for Salute the Soldier Week in 1944.

A memorial from more recent times was a handwritten card, sealed in a clear plastic pocket, commemorating Lance Corporal Matty Hull, who was killed in a ‘friendly fire’ incident in Iraq in 2003.  The card was pinned to the door to the Parachute Regiment Memorial Garden at Lincoln Castle.

To be continued…. find out what happened to the temporary memorials

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