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The Naval Service Memorial

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

The RNRMC is proud to announce its support of the the Naval Service Memorial. The Charity’s £20,000 gift will contribute to the construction of the memorial.
Chief Executive Robert Robson says: “Graeme Mitcheson’s highly innovative design – using glass panels, sculpture and the sun’s natural rays – is a timeless piece. The memorial pays tribute to all of our Navy personnel, irrespective of their rank or division, in the most touching and sensitive of ways. It will offer visitors a visually immersive space from which to quietly remember their comrades and loved ones. It is truly powerful – and this is why the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is proud to offer its support.”
Support the Memorial
To date, funding for the memorial has been sourced from a number of supporters including the Royal Naval Association National Council and other contributors both individual and collective, yet further funds are still needed. Donations can be made to the Royal Naval Association. Please contact Paul Quinn on or 02392722983.
The memorial will be dedicated at the National Memorial Arboretum on 15 June 2014.