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Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill served as Prime Minister throughout the Second World War.

During the Blitz incendiary bombs hit Parliament destroying the House of Commons Chamber and Members' Lobby. Churchill played a key role in the rebuilding of the Commons and he suggested that aspects of the bomb damage to the Chamber archway should preserved as a memorial to the trauma of war.

Churchill wanted the arch to stand as a monument to the ordeal which Parliament and the country experienced, and as a reminder to future generations of MPs of their forebears' fortitude. As a result of Churchill's intervention, the architect of the new building, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, incorporated the bomb-scarred stones of the arch into his designs, now called the Churchill Arch.

After Churchill's death in 1965 there were calls for a parliamentary memorial to the former Prime Minister in Members Lobby. The leading portrait sculptor Oscar Nemon was commissioned to produce a large bronze statue for Parliament.

Nemon's sculpture, positioned next to the Churchill Arch, shows Churchill with his hands on his hips, striding through rubble which evokes the devastation across of Britain after the war.

Image: © Parliamentary Art Collection, WOA S23