The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Click to see full size; Front of memorial © Antonia Reeve
View of South Wall and South-East Bay © Antonia Reeve
Stained glass by Douglas Strachan © Antonia Reeve
Shrine frieze by Alice & Morris Meredith Williams © Antonia Reeve
Navy bookstand © Antonia Reeve

100 Buildings 100 Years

1927: Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh

Status: Listed
Condition: Good condition
Type: Monument
Architect: Sir Robert Lorimer
Location: The Castle, Edinburgh, EH1 2YT

The Scottish National War Memorial is one of the outstanding pieces of public art of its time. A shrine to the nation’s collective loss, the Memorial commemorates all the individual men and women of Scotland who fell in the Great  War and is the masterpiece of its architect, Sir Robert Lorimer.

Leading a team of two hundred artists and craftsmen, Lorimer designed the building in a style inspired by the architecture of Renaissance Scotland to include monuments to all the Services, regiments and corps that served in the war, but also to the many non-combatants and uniquely to all Scottish women. The outstanding stained glass by Douglas Strachan and the bronze frieze by Alice and Morris Meredith Williams, together with the numerous other sculptures do more than gather diverse monuments in one place, however. They also present the wider message of hope that the terrible sacrifice of the Great War should not have been in vain: that it would secure peace and should prove truly to have been ‘the war to end war.’ 

by Duncan Macmillan

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