Opposite the much more recent Battle of Britain London Monument on the Victoria Embankment in London is the city’s main monument to the Royal Air Force, the RAF Memorial.
Built in 1923, the memorial was initially built to mark the loss of life in what was then the Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. In 1946 it was updated with a new plaque commemorating the officers and men of the now-combined Royal Air Force who gave their lives in the Second World War. Now you’ll be surprised when I you tell you that it’s actually quite difficult to find – because it is surrounded by very mature trees you almost have to stand directly beneath it to see the gold-covered eagle which perches at the summit (sculpted by Sir William Reid Dick, who is also responsible for the rather saucy statue of Lady Godiva in Coventry city centre).
Now I’m only speculating, but I wonder whether they took a good long look at the RAF Memorial when the decision was taken to mark the sacrifice of the Polish Squadrons of the RAF during World War. This monument and the one in Northolt are remarkably similar - they’re of approximately the same height and both support eagles at the top. What do you think?