Great War Memorial Plaque
In 1916, the British Government decided that an official token should be sent to the families of those who died in the First World War between 1914 and 1920. The token was in thanks for the soldier’s sacrifice and to recognise the loss and suffering experienced by his family.
The design for the plaque was to be chosen in a competition with a prize of £250. In 1917, Mr Edward Carter Preston’s design was chosen from more than eight hundred entries from all over Europe.
Production began in 1919 in Acton and later moved to the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich in 1920.
Individually cast in bronze, the design shows Britannia holding a spray of oak leaves and acorns. Beside her, an Imperial lion stands over the broken body of the German Imperial eagle and two dolphins represent Britain’s naval power. Around the edge of the plaque are the words “He died for freedom and honour”.
The soldier’s name was inscribed on the plaque, without rank, to show that every soldier who died had made the highest sacrifice.
We will remember them.