MONUMENTS TO THE MERCHANT NAVY - THE TOWER HILL MEMORIAL

Close to the Tower of London on Tower Hill is Trinity Square Gardens, formal gardens which have been there since 1797. They now contain two war memorials to the sailors of the Merchant Navy of both world wars, who lost their lives at sea due to enemy action and who have no known grave. The role of the Merchant Navy is one that is often overlooked, but they played a vital role and it was a highly perilous job, as these huge monuments show.

Th exterior fo the memorial to the merchant navy at Tower Hill
Lutyen's memorial to those who were lost at sea during World War I

The mercantile navy was a supply service for the Royal Navy, delivering supplies, troops, raw materials and finished products, personnel and ships, as well as continuing with its peacetime role of transporting food and goods for the civilian population and aiding the fishing fleet.


The two memorials, one for each war, were erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The memorial to World War I was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens, creator of many war memorials including the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Its design is based on that of a Doric temple, with the walls covered in bronze plaques with the names of the ships and the seamen who died in them. It was opened by Queen Mary in 1928 and is now a Grade I listed monument.


The memorial runs parallel to the main road, with its dedicatory inscription in bronze on the top of t