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Parliamentary War Memorials

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.

During the Second World War on 27th September 1940 a bomb landed in Old Palace Yard. The explosion destroyed the stained-glass window in St Stephen's Porch and badly damaged the memorial.

After the War a new Joint War Memorial Committee was established to commemorate Parliament's WWII dead. Initially they hoped to achieve this by extensively modifying the Parliamentary War Memorial, but this plan had to be abandoned. To create a WWII memorial the Committee commissioned a stained-glass memorial window to replace the one destroyed in 1940.

The large stained glass window contains the service badges and armorial bearings or initials of Members and staff of both Houses and police officers, who died in the War of 1939 to 1945 and was designed by Sir Ninian Comper.

The two police officers remembered in this memorial died whilst on duty in Parliament. War Reserve Constables Gordon Farrant and Arthur Stead were on fire watch duties in the turret above the Royal Gallery in the House of Lords on the night of 10-11 May 1941. The first bomb that night fell on the turret destroying it and killing both men. The bombing raid went on to kill Captain Edward Elliott, the House of Lords Resident Staff Superintendent, who is also remembered in this memorial. Later that night the House of Commons chamber was destroyed.

Image: © Parliamentary Art Collection, WOA S220