|St Michael's Cornhill|
It is good that we DO remember, even if it is only for a couple of minutes once a year, it makes us focus on those who gave their lives for us to be free so, so long ago. Also to remember with pride the young men and women who are in the forces today, whatever you may feel about the act of war itself.
Arrived breathless at the Royal Exchange, everything seemed to have gone in slow motion since I got on public transport. My fellow guides wondered where the Lord Mayor was and I told them I had seen his Rolls Royce at St Paul's. It transpired if we had gone on with the rest of the group to lay wreaths at the other memorials and returned an hour later, we would have been present when the Lord Mayor laid his wreath on the Royal Exchange Memorial.
Never mind, we'll be more aware next year.
|Memorial at Royal Exchange|
The memorial honours the London men who died in World War I. Designed by Aston Webb RA and sculpted by Alfred Drury, it's stone column flanked by two life sized bronze soldiers. On top is a lion and a shield showing St George and the Dragon. A fine and worthy monument and pass and admire it often.
|WWI Cross St Botolph's|
Officers and men of the Honourable Artillery Company, in memory of our brave dead of Bishopgate, 1914-1916 then,
John Travers Cornwell VC of HMS Chester, (16 years of age) and Kitchener, June 5, 1916, Lest we forget.
The story of 'boy Cornwell' is poignant indeed, such a brave soul at only 16 years of age. His story is extraordinary and can be found here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Cornwell
On 31 Jauary 1922, the original Lloyd's War Memorial arch (Sir Edwin Cooper) was unveiled at the entrance to Lloyd's Rooms at the Royal Exchange, commemorated all those who had been lost in the Great War. When Lloyd's moved to Leadenhall Street, the arch went with, and remained there until the site was demolished in 1979 to make way for the present Lime Street building. The arch went into storage. What we see today is the carefully restored arch that is now a memorial to those who lost their lives in both the First and Second World War. Unveilded and dedicated in July 2008.
|A portion of the Lloyd's War Memorial and Arch|
A single poppy nestles in the stone wreath.
We ended at the Kindertransport statue, a memorial to those children who fled Nazi-controlled Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia between 1938 and 1939. Sculpted by Frank Meisler the same monument stands at Gdansk Glowny railway station in Poland. A Special Reunion is planned to commemorate the 75th annivesary of the Kindertransport on Sunday 23 June 2013 at JFS in North West London. http://www.ajr.org.uk/
On my way back to Cheapside I passed St Botolph's again and noticed at the entrance two Remembrance wreaths wrapped in plastic, with a card attached from the British Legion. Why were they lying there after 1pm in the afternoon? I picked them up and went inside the church, a service was in progress. So there was only one thing left to do. I went to the WWI memorial unwrapped the two wreaths and laid them there. Not forgotten after all, prior to my actions nothing had been left, except my own poppy from my collar. RIP.