Key facts about the Monument

Whose idea was the Monument?

The Monument was originally an initiative of the Battle of Britain Historical Society. Then a fundraising committee was formed to raise funds, select a sculptor and oversee the entire project.

What does the Monument commemorate?

The Monument is designed to commemorate those people who took part in the battle. Whilst the airmen are be commemorated with their names cast in bronze, the scenes are designed to also remember everyone who took part in the battle, both military support people and civilians.

Where is the Monument?

The Monument site is located in London (England) on the Victoria Embankment (north side of the river Thames). It is between the RAF memorial (the one with the big eagle wings) and Westminster bridge / Big Ben (next to the Houses of Parliament). It is opposite the London Eye (“The wheel”). See here for more details

What has been the reaction of surviving pilots to the Monument?

The reaction from pilots who have seen the first castings has been overwhelmingly positive. Similarly there has been a very positive response to the concept and design as models (maquettes) have been shown at many events around the country. See here for some of the pilots’ comments.

Previous use

Before it was converted to hold the monument the structure was the remains of a steam outlet for the circle and district tube lines were pulled by steam engines.

Sculptor

The Sculptor was Paul Day.

Foundry

The foundry where the bronzes were cast was the Morris Singer foundry which also cast some of the lions in Trafalgar square (many, many years earlier!).

Scenes from the Battle

Friezes along the sides of the monument depict various scenes from during the battle. See a full description here.

Airmen names

The names of all the airmen who are credited as flying during the battle are inscribed on plaques. See the list here.

Funding

The monument was paid for by donations, mainly from members of the public around the world. The government of the Czech Republic also made a donation. The then British government at the time declined to get involved.

Opening

The monument was unveiled on 18 September 2005 by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall in front of over 700 people.