Blitz 1991

The sculpture entitled ‘ BLITZ ‘ is the National memorial to the firefighters who lost their lives during the second world war, who Winston Churchill referred to as ” the heroes with grimy faces “. The small bronze that became the maquette for the memorial was commission in 1984 by C.T. Demarne O.B.E. ex Chief Officer of the West Ham Fire Brigade, as a personal memorial to his colleagues who died during that awful war.

This is now housed in the Hall of Remembrance at the London Fire Brigade Headquarters, Lambeth. The unveiling of this work brought the realisation that there should be larger memorial, on a prominent site, possibly in the capital city.

After many machinations that germ of a dream came to fruition as The National Firefighters Memorial ‘ BLITZ ‘. It was erected on its site on Old Change Court, by St Paul`s Cathedral in London, and unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on the 4 May 1991


Her Majesty the Queen Mother unveilling the memorial sculpture
” BLITZ ” on 4 May 1991.


Front view
Small studio maquette Bronze sculpture 1984
” BLITZ ” National Firefighters Memorial
Edition of 6`s Price: £ P.O.A.


Back view

The sculpture tells the story of three firemen, a sub-officer and two branch-men in action as in any great fire anywhere in the country during the blitz. The interdependence of these men and their comradeship, so typical of this service, intensified by the horror of welfare on the home front, gives the reason for this compact grouping.

The uniform and details of the posture and method of holding the branch hose are those of that time. The style of lettering used around the octagonal base, to list the 1,027 names of men and women who died, is the same as that used on the wartime ration book
‘ Gill Sans ‘.

Other references & links:

‘Blitz’ Firefighters Memorial

H.M.Queen Elizabeth II unveiling Women of World War II Monument

John W Mills images of Quentin Crisp