A history of the cenotaph

Standing in the middle of Whitehall, the Cenotaph was unveiled by His Majesty King George V on 11th November 1920 at the same time the Unknown Warrior was laid to rest.

It was designed by the eminent architect Sir Edwin Lutyens - who also designed the Theipval Memorial and several English country houses.

The Cenotaph was supposed to be temporary structure, used as a saluting point during a victory parade through London. However, the British people, who were still grieving for a lost generation, took the monument to their hearts and it was made into a permanent memorial.

Tim Skelton is the co-author of Lutyens and the Great War and here, standing next to the Cenotaph on a noisy Whitehall, he explains why it became such a focal point for people.

BBC Remembrance site