Bertram Mackennal's Parliamentary War Memorial

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Discover the fascinating but little-known history of the Parliamentary War Memorial (also known as the Recording Angel memorial)

Bertram Mackennal's Parliamentary War Memorial

The Parliamentary War Memorial commemorates Members of both Houses of Parliament who died in the First World War. Designed by the Australian sculptor Bertram Mackennal (1863–1931) and unveiled in 1922, it stands in St Stephen’s Porch at the south end of Westminster Hall.

The memorial is dedicated to 145 individuals who ‘consummated with their lives the tradition of public service in the cause of Right & Liberty’. Its eight stone panels list 23 MPs and 20 Peers, as well as 9 senior staff members known as 'Officers' of both Houses, and 94 sons of Members and Officers of the House of Commons.

The winged figure carved in stone at the centre of the memorial represents a Recording Angel, who in Abrahamic religions are said to record every person’s deeds. Two gilt-bronze statuettes symbolise the virtues of Faith and Fortitude.

However, the Parliamentary War Memorial has not always appeared as it does today.

Click on the ‘hot spots’ above to discover its turbulent history, during which politics, changing artistic concerns and both world wars all left their mark.