The Cenotaph is London’s memorial to those killed in war. It stands solemnly in Whitehall and commemorates those who have died in battle since the beginning of the First World War.
The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and replaced his temporary monument which was erected for the Allied Victory Parade. Underneath the simple carved wreaths at either end is written ‘The Glorious Dead’. On the sides stand the flags of the Royal Navy, The British Army, The Royal Air Force and The Union Jack. Every year the Remembrance Day Parade passes by the Cenotaph and each uniformed service personnel salutes the memorial as they pass. This huge parade is attended by the Queen, the Prime Minister and war veterans who lay wreaths of poppies as an act of remembrance at the foot of the Cenotaph.
The word Cenotaph comes from the Greek words Kenos and Taphos meaning empty tomb, and from its unveiling, when it was Britain’s first official war memorial, to the present day the Cenotaph has been the focus of respect and remembrance for those who died at war.