The Naval Service Memorial
The Royal Naval Association has been running a project to mark the 60th anniversary of their Royal Charter in 2014. The RNA National Council wanted an all inclusive memorial that commemorates those who have served, serve today and will serve tomorrow regardless of rank, trade or fighting arm.
They sought designs for a memorial to be placed in the Naval Section of the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) to be a place for shipmates and their families to quietly remember their comrades and loved ones. At present there is only the Armed Forces memorial for those who have given their lives on operations since WW2 and a collection of Association and Fighting Arm memorials in the Naval area.
The concept behind the memorial design is, ‘At the going down of the Sun we will remember them’:
The memorial shows a figure facing the setting sun with head bowed in respect to Shipmates. The figure suggests this could be a sailor from the bell bottoms and round cap held in the ‘at ease’ position, but is deliberately ambiguous. The coloured glass panels diffuse light onto a white limestone pavement. The colours are those of the 5 oceans – steel grey for the Atlantic, turquoise for the Indian, ultramarine blue for the Pacific and with white inserts for the Arctic and Southern Ocean. The yellow represent the rising sun and the red for the setting sun and for the blood spilled at sea in the defence of our nation. Suggestions of green for the Royal Marines and dark colours for dived submarines. The glass panels suggest waves and motion – from the side masts in harbour. The glass panels cast a shadow suggesting the shape of a warship which is in the direct gaze of the figure. The shape of the shadow ship changes as the sun moves.
£20,000 grant received from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity