The Twentieth Century Society

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Chindit Memorial, London, Photo Sarah J Duncan
Click to see full size Photo © Sarah J Duncan

War memorials

London: Chindit Memorial

Architect: David Price, Frank Foster (Sculpture), 1990
Location: Victoria Embankment Gardens, London

This fairly recent memorial was unveiled on 16th October 1990 by HRH The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh to commemorate the men and presumably women who had served in Burma. The Chindits (officially in 1943 77th Indian Infantry Brigade and in 1944 Indian 3rd Infantry Division) were a British India ‘Special Force’ that served in Burma and India in 1943 and 1944 during the Burmese Campaign in World War II. They were formed into long-ranged penetration groups trained to operate deep behind Japanese lines.

The memorial is in the form of a stone column with a bronze Burmese guardian temple creature (Chinthe) on top and a blue enamel crest of the chindits association on the front face. Chinthes are mythical beasts and the guardians of all Burmese temples. This is where the name Chindits is derived from. The Chindits motto was ‘the boldest measures are the safest’.

The rear of the monument is exclusively dedicated to Orde Wingate, who suggested the creation of the Chindits in 1939.

Gavin Stamp

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