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PLA War Memorials

 

The PLA First World War Memorial

The Memorial to the PLA staff who fell in WWI
(click on image to enlarge)
Image by kind permission of Lynda Viccars/Port of Tilbury

World War I Memorial Tablets

The memorial to the members of staff of the Port of London Authority who lost their lives in the Great War (1914 - 18) takes the form of two marble tablets, inscribed with the names of those who fell, set into the walls of the chapel in the London Cruise Terminal.

The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Cooper, FRIBA, the architect of the PLA head office building at Trinity Square. It was unveiled by Admiral of the Fleet the Right Hon Earl Beatty OM, GCB, GCVO, DSO at Trinitry Square in January 1926.

Within a month of the outbreak of the First World War more than 800 members of staff joined the forces and before the conclusion of hostilities, 3,629 men had joined up. 403 of these were killed or died while serving with the colours (Navy 49, Army 345, Air Force 9). More than 700 were wounded or temporarily disabled through illness.

Decorations for distinguished service were awarded to no fewer than 119 members of staff, including two Victoria Crosses, one French Medaille Militaire, one Russian Medal of St George, one Russian Medal for Zeal and two Italian Medals for Valour.

World War II Memorial Window

On 13th November 1952, Field Marshall Viscount Alanbrook, Constable of the Tower London, unveiled the Memorial Window in the PLA head office in Trinity Square perpetuating the memory of those members of staff who lost their lives by enemy action at home and abroad during the Second World War. Following the unveiling the memorial was dedicated by the Bishop of London.

The WW2 Memorial Window
The Second World War Memorial Window
Click on image to enlarge)
Image by kind permission of 
Andy Hughes/Port of Tilbury

The window, in stained glass, is dominated by the winged figure of Victory holding a sword and the torch of liberty. The figure surmounts the Arms of the Port of London Authority enclosed by a wreath from which springs a meander holding figures of the fighting and civil defence services, with scenes of the bombing of the Port of London.

The memorial is flanked by four smaller stained glass windows containing representations of the type of ship used from 1650 to 1950. All five windows were designed and executed by Christopher Webb.

The names of 125 members of staff whom the window commemorates have been inscribed in a book designed and executed by Harold Ryder, which rests on a stand before the window. 64 members of staff were serving with HM Forces at the time of their death and 61 were killed by enemy action at work or in their homes.

The PLA head office building at Trinity Square was sold in 1971 and both memorials were moved to the London Cruise Terminal at Tilbury, where they remain to this day.