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61022: Rejected plaque and handle from coffin of the Unknown Warrior

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posted on 2024-02-18, 17:52 authored by Great War Archive Project Team

In November 1920 Mr David John Williams of the Brunswick Ironworks received a telegram from the Minister of Works requesting his presence in London and was given the Commission for the Ironwork for the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

The ceremony was going to take place on the 11th November in Westminster Abbey. Mr Williams had to design and attach the handles to the coffin, which was made from English Oak from the forest at Hampton Court Palace. He also designed the iron bands that bound the coffin and antique hammered the plaque that was to be attached to the top of the coffin. He worked for two days and nights to make these.

The coffin left England in November for the journey across the Channel to France where the remains of an unknown serviceman had been selected for burial. The body, in a teal casket, was placed in the coffin and brought to London, first on the destroyer HMS Verdun and then by train from Dover to Victoria Station. The procession made its way via the Mall to Whitehall where it paused for the unveiling of the Cenotaph.

At the Abbey the coffin passed through a guard of honour of holders of the Victoria Cross and was buried in the Abbey in the presence of a vast congregation, headed by the King and Queen.

History

Identifier

9441.cpd| 6950.jpg|GWA_6003_DSC06227.jpg 6951.jpg|GWA_6004_DSC06231.jpg

Creator

Williams, David John

Date

November 1920 | November 1920

Date Created

01/11/1920

Temporal Coverage

30/11/1920

Source

Artifact

Medium

Metal

Type

Other

Pages

1, 2

Number of Pages

2

Contributor

Richard Marshall | Richard Marshall | Pam Smith, on behalf of Brunswick Ironworks, Caernarfon

Submission Event

Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, Caernarfon Castle Submission Day, 8th May 2008

Rights

The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor

Publisher

The Great War Archive, University of Oxford