London – Visit to Battle of Britain London Monument

I visited the Battle of Britain London Monument on Victoria Embankment and was deeply moved by the sculptured scenes depicting the pathos of the time. The expressions on the faces and the actions of the pieces are absolutely beautiful. The work has the uncanny power of drawing you in to the event itself. Here are a few images I found particularly touching:

Determination and victory

Pilots scramble

Compassion not only expressed for people

The sheer anguish of it all

The need to be able to see clearly

The women manufacturing armaments

The shock and the horror of the bombing

The propensity of the British to make a cup of tea even in the most extreme circumstances.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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23 Responses to London – Visit to Battle of Britain London Monument

  1. ladyfi says:

    What expressive faces! Beautiful and terrible at the same time.

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  2. The expression in the eyes in the first image says it all. Very moving.

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  3. Hudson Howl says:

    echos ladyfi…..timely as Remembrance Day is not that far off, this snapped me there.

    p.s. -glad you correctly photographed the monument in segments to show us instead of doing the tourist shot, who tries to shoot everything entirety in one click of the shutter. Good job Don. You have to admit I said the above with out one hint of jealousy.

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  4. nrhatch says:

    You are putting your camera through the paces. I have a request. If you have a lovely tea somewhere while there . . . photograph the food. 😀

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  5. Rosanne says:

    Beautiful pictures Don. What strikes me is how a hard, brittle metal alloy like bronze can be sculptured to illicit so much emotion, movement, passion and sensitivity.

    “Shock, horror, anguish … determination, compassion, clarity … men, women … and tea!”

    Not only does it have the power to draw you in to the events and emotion of that time, it also creates a powerful opportunity for reflection in the present moment.

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    • Don says:

      What a joy to hear from you Rosanne. I love what you say – so insightful. To turn what is hard and brittle in to the beauty of art itself is something unique to us. I must say that I did find myself reflecting very deeply on what those years must have been like. Hard to imagine if you weren’t there, though. Hope you and the family are well.

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  6. Katy says:

    I too was drawn in and almost in tears at the sheer sadness and aching futileness of war that the sculptures portray – But in the midst of that, some semblance of normality – a dog and a cup of hot tea. Such genious. Do you know who sculptered them Don?

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    • Don says:

      Katy, the sculptor is Paul Day. Below you’ll see a link given by Val in her last comment. Just click on that and it’ll take you to his work. Love your “Semblance of normality,” so true.

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  7. Val says:

    Extraordinary sculpture. I no longer live in London so have no opportunity to see this first hand, so thank you for this post.

    My mother was a sculptor and she did this kind of sculpture though on a very much smaller scale (no murals) and I thought that her treatment of eyes was good, until I saw this – they seem so lifelike and hold so much emotion – added of course to the poses and attitudes.

    By the way, this sort of thing is worked in clay and cast, afterwards, in bronze.

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    • Don says:

      I never knew it was first worked in clay and then in bronze. Must be quite a process. The eyes also spoke to me in every way. You obviously must have watched your mother follow this process. Thank you for the information and your visit.

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  8. Val says:

    I had a look. This is the sculptor’s website – absolutely astonishing work!

    http://www.pauldaysculpture.com/home.html

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  9. Kathy Marsden says:

    I haven’t seen the Monument, Don. If I ever get to London again I’ll make it a must. Wonderful to have the detail in your pics. Those moments live again. DEEPLY MOVING to be able to enter them, even through this medium.
    Stay safe! Kathy

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  10. Heather says:

    It’s wonderful to have your photos to REALLY look at Don. When one is in a foreign place one doesn’t always have time to do that. Something that I’ve been so aware of lately, is that when we do take time to notice things, God speaks to us in such significant ways . I’m loving this trip you’re taking us on!!

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    • Don says:

      I love what you say about noticing things, Heather. The Universe is a speaking One and we are spoken to in so many different ways. I think the secret is always trying to be present to that which is in the moment. We always tend to be somewhere else and miss the moment. so glad you’re enjoying the posts.

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  11. Sydney Fong says:

    Don, I really appreciate the post you are sharing with us, looking at the sculptures i start to tear how lucky we are to live in this ERA and our countries – AddGrainOnErath

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