The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Click to see full size Photo © Gavin Stamp
Photo © Gavin Stamp
Photo © Gavin Stamp
Photo © Gavin Stamp
Photo © Gavin Stamp
Photo from 1949 © E Hill
First design perspective by Farey

War memorials

France: Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing, Arras

Architect: Sir Edwin Lutyens
Owners: Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Location: Pas de Calais, France

A large Memorial to the Missing was originally proposed for Arras. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, this was to be a tall, thin arch, 124 feet high, whose sides were to consist of a vertical series of diminishing blocks, each pierced by an arched tunnel but arranged on alternate axes and containing bells which would swing and toll with the wind. It was a concept whose ethereal form was to commemorate missing airmen and one in which Lutyens developed the complex arch theme that would be realised at Thiepval.

In 1926 the French authorities objected to this and to other proposed memorials. The following year Lutyens produced a new and more modest scheme consisting of a memorial running along one side of the Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery to the west of Arras. This was unveiled in 1932 by Lord Trenchard. The names of 35,928 Missing who disappeared in the several campaigns in the Arras area in 1917 are listed on walls behind a colonnade broken by aedicules, and this colonnade also breaks back to enclose a free-standing pylon supporting a winged globe carved by William Reid Dick. On this are listed all the missing of the Royal Flying Corps, the Royal Naval Air Service and their successor, the Royal Air Force, who died on the Western Front. The cemetery contains 2,648 burials.

Gavin Stamp

Commonwealth War Graves Commission 

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