The Memorial at The Museum of Army Flying

Hampshire County Council Property Services, Stockbridge, 2017

 

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An Army memorial in Hampshire.

Commemorating all those who have died in the service of British Army flying, the recently completed memorial at the Museum of Army Flying brings together the ‘family’ of regiments that have served over the history of army aviation, from Royal Engineers, The Royal Flying Corps, Air Observation Post Squadrons, the Glider Pilot Regiment to the current Army Air Corps.

It was completed in time for an event to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Army Air Corp. Connecting land with sky, earth with air, the memorial creates a unique and fitting place of quiet contemplation, and lists the names of over five thousand Army flying personnel. Wrapped by a grass bank, the memorial takes its place in the local Salisbury Plain context of ancient tumuli, a landscape of longevity, whilst the burial-mound form echoes the circular earth revetments used to protect planes on the perimeter of military airfields.

Visitors approach the memorial along a path running adjacent to the airfield. The memorial’s entrance is only revealed once visitors reach the end of the path. Aligned precisely to the sun at 11 o’clock on 11 November, the circle is filled with low winter light each Remembrance Day.

With 75,000 letters, the cost for traditional engraving methods alone of around £3 per letter could have used the entire budget. A technique by Chryso Graphic Concrete using an impregnated paper which retards the curing process of the concrete face became the affordable option. The paper is reverse printed and laid face down into a precise moulds. This method allowed the face of each panel to be curved creating a true circular interior with cantilevered coping units to offer weather protection. Born out of its extremely low budget, the powerful simplicity of this memorial achieves a civic gravitas much greater than expected.

Data

  • Begun: Jun 2017
  • Completed: Aug 2017
  • Floor area: 98m2
  • Sectors: Sports and leisure, Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £242,036
  • Tender date: Apr 2017
  • Procurement: JCT Intermediate Contract 2011 for main works, Direct order for the cast panels
  • Address: Middle Wallop, Hampshire, Stockbridge, SO20 8DY, United Kingdom