Last week, the Queen unveiled a new war memorial in London commemorating the World War II exploits of Bomber Command – not without controversy. I’m not going to rake over the pros and cons of what Bomber Command did but in short you have to decide if the carpet bombing of German cities was a good or a bad thing and did it end the war against Hitler sooner. The memorial is gargantuan with huge figures of the intrepid airmen. I went down to have a look yesterday and took the pictures you see here.
One interesting medieval point to ponder is how were wars memorialised in the Middle Ages. This new memorial in London is far more evocative of Roman Empire glorifications of combat with triumphal arches and depictions of those involved in the battles. In the medieval period, a victorious ruler was more likely to commission a church or abbey. Two good examples of this are Battle Abbey in Sussex that served as a permanent reminder of the Norman victory over Saxon England in 1066. And another place that you must visit is Batalha in Portugal, a monastery that celebrated the victory over the Spanish at Aljubarrota in 1385.