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The Cenotaph, Whitehall
POI: 51.502667, -0.126139
The Cenotaph is a war memorial on Whitehall in London, England. Its origin is in a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of the First World War and after an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's primary national war memorial. Designed by Edwin Lutyens, the permanent structure was built from Portland stone between 1919 and 1920 by Holland, Hannen & Cubitts, replacing Lutyens' earlier wood-and-plaster cenotaph in the same location. An annual Service of Remembrance is held at the site on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11 November (Armistice Day) each year. Lutyens' cenotaph design has been reproduced elsewhere in the UK and in other countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Bermuda and Hong Kong.
OriginsThe first cenotaph was a wood-and-plaster structure designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and erected in 1919. It was one of a number of temporary structures erected for the London Victory Parade (also called the Peace Day Parade) on 19 July 1919. It marked the formal end of the First World War that had taken place with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. As one of a series of temporary wooden monuments constructed along the route of the parade, Whitehall's was not proposed until two weeks before the event. Following deliberations by the Peace Celebrations Committee, Lutyens was invited to Downing Street. There, the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, proposed that the monument should be a catafalque, like the one intended for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris for the corresponding Victory Parade in France, but Lutyens proposed instead that the design be based on a cenotaph. The temporary wood-and-plaster structure had the same shape as the later permanent stone structure, and consisted of a pylon that rose in a series of set-backs to the empty tomb (cenotaph) on its summit. The wreaths at each end and on top were made from laurel rather than the later carved stone sculptures. The location chosen along the parade route along Whitehall was between the Foreign Office and Richmond House. The unveiling (described in The Times as 'quiet' and 'unofficial') took place the day before the Victory Parade. During the parade, those saluting the temporary cenotaph included the allied commanders John Pershing, Ferdinand Foch, Douglas Haig and David Beatty. For some time after the parade, the base of the memorial was covered with flowers and wreaths by members of the public. Pressure mounted to retain it, and the British War Cabinet decided on 30 July 1919 that a permanent memorial should replace the wooden version and be designated Britain's official national war memorial. The announcement was made on 23 October 1919 that the Portland stone version would be a "replica exact in every detail in permanent material of present temporary structure".
DesignLutyens had first heard the term "cenotaph" in connection with... ... (English)
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