Naval Memorials



The Halifax Memorial is situated on a fine site in Point Pleasant Park, overlooking the harbour entrance. The original memorial which stood on Citadel Hill deteriorated badly and had to be demolished in the late 1960s. Its stonework was sunk in the Bedford Basin by the Royal Canadian Navy, who held a ceremony as the last blocks were lowered into the sea. The majority of the 3,000 men named were sailors and merchant seamen of Canada but the memorial also bears the names of soldiers of the Canadian Army stationed in Canada who died but have no known grave; just over 400 of those commemorated died in the 1914-1918 War. As mentioned elsewhere, the central feature of this memorial is the largest Cross of Sacrifice, standing about 40 feet high. The memorial was unveiled by the Honourable H.P. MacKeen, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, on 12th November 1967.

Even on this memorial a few names are still being added to the Addendum panel in the 1980s as details emerge of Canadian servicemen who died in Canada in the 1914-1918 War but whose place of burial is now unknown.


United Kingdom

The Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth Memorials -- In 1920 it was decided that a memorial at each of the manning ports would be the best way of commemorating the 25,000 sailors who had lost their lives in the Great War. The memorials would be similar and would take the form of a sea-mark near the shore, so combining the memorial with a beacon to guide ships. The memorials were designed by Robert Lorimer and stand on the Great Lines at Chatham, the Hoe at Plymouth (where Sir Francis Drake played his game of bowls while awaiting the Spanish Armada in 1588), and Southsea Common at Portsmouth. The globe which tops each column is supported by the figures of the four winds above the prow of ships.

The globe on the Plymouth Memorial bears an honourable scar which is unique in the Commission's memorials. It has a clearly visible dent on the seaward side where the trailing cable of a barrage balloon, which had broken free, struck it in the 1939-1945 War. Edward Maufe designed extensions to the three memorials to take panels bearing the even more numerous names of the 1939-1945 War.

The Chatham Memorial (1914-1918) was unveiled by the Prince of Wales on 26th April 1924, and the Extension by the Duke of Edinburgh (who had served in the Royal Navy) on 15th October 1952. The Plymouth Memorial bears the names of nearly 2,000 Australian and over 200 South African sailors, sailors from other Commonwealth navies, marines, and soldiers of the Maritime Regiments, Royal Artillery, in addition to sailors of the Royal Navy. The 1914-1918 memorial was unveiled by Prince George (later Duke of Kent, who had served in the Royal Navy and was killed on active service with the RAF in the 1939-1945 War) on 29th July 1924, and the Extension by Princess Margaret on 20th May 1954. Additional panels commemorating those sailors who died ashore but have no known grave were unveiled by Admiral Sir Mark Pizey on 11th November 1956.

The Portsmouth Memorial was unveiled by the Duke of York (who had served in the Royal Navy, was at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and became King George VI in 1936) on 15th October 1924, and the Extension by his widow, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, on 29th April 1953. Among many brave and dedicated sailors on this Memorial, none was more so than Captain F.J. Walker CB DSO and three Bars, of HMS Starling, whose group destroyed more German submarines than any other. He died on 9th July 1944. Chatham commemorates 19,000 war dead, Plymouth 23,000 and Portsmouth 26,000.

spacer The text on this page has been taken from Courage Remembered, by Kingsley Ward and Major Edwin Gibson.

War Memorials | The Veterans

spacer IndexHistoryWar Graves CommissionVeteransCredits