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Anglo-Belgian Memorial - The Embankment, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
N 51° 30.522 W 000° 07.247
30U E 699797 N 5710327
Quick Description: An impressive monument and statue stands opposite Cleopatra's Needle in London.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/14/2010 8:16:12 AM
Waymark Code: WM9FM5
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 14

Long Description:
This is the Anglo-Belgian Memorial and was a gift from Belgium to the people of Britain. The National Archives describes this important memorial gift:

'Anglo-Belgian Memorial

This stands on the Victoria Embankment. This memorial was a gift from the Belgian nation to thank Great Britain for their assistance to Belgium in the 1914-1918 war. It was unveiled on the 12th October 1920 when Leon Delacroix, the Belgian Prime Minister, offered the memorial to the British nation, the gift being formally accepted by Lord Curzon. The actual unveiling was performed by Princess Clementine of Belgium. The memorial was erected as a token of gratitude by Belgian people who had found refuge in England during the German occupation of their country.

The file (on the National Archives website WORK 20/131)opens with a letter dated 21st October 1918 from a committee who had given themselves the name "Le Monument Belge" stating that they were ready to present the memorial to the British nation, expressed their acceptance of the site proposed "opposite Cleopatra’s Needle" and ends with a letter dated 28th August 1922 from the Office of Works to the London County Council.

During the time covered by this correspondence the memorial was sited, its composition agreed, erected, unveiled and funds provided in payment for it.

There is correspondence involving the London County Council, whose agreement to the site of the memorial was necessary, the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield who was responsible for the design, from the sculptor, from the Anglo-Belgian Union, the Belgian Embassy in London, and the Belgian Government in Brussels. There is also correspondence from William Kirkpatrick, the Manchester Granite and Marble Works who were commissioned to erect the memorial.

The central bronze group was the work of the sculptor Victor Rousseau and it emerges that a sculptor from the Royal College of Art called Francis was to work on the initial carving of the side figures representing "Honour" and "Justice" as well as the shields representing the regions of Belgium. Rousseau would supply models of the figures and shields for Mr.Francis to work on, and would finish off the faces and heads of the two figures himself.

In the file is a diagram showing where Rousseau wanted the shields positioned. There were nine shields in all and some wreaths. The shields represented Brabant, Anvers (Antwerp), Liege, Hainault, Namur, Limbourg, Luxemburg and two for Flanders.

In the file is a letter dated 10th January 1920 from the Belgian Embassy in London stating that Rousseau, had seen the bronze at the founders, Messrs.Burton, and was very happy with it.'
Country or International City that Gave the Gift: Belgium

Country or International City that Received the Gift: Britain

Website Verifying this Item as a Gift from Another Country or International City: [Web Link]

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Benchmark Blasterz visited Anglo-Belgian Memorial - The Embankment, London, UK 7/17/2016 Benchmark Blasterz visited it
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