Following the First World War, ZSL Council decided to place a permanent war memorial at London Zoo in memory of the members of staff who had died in the war. The memorial, with a bronze tablet listing the names of those killed, was unveiled in 1919. Following the Second World War a second bronze memorial tablet was added.
The design chosen for the memorial was an adaptation of the mediaeval French Lanterne des Morts (Lantern of the Dead) at La Souterraine in the Creuse valley.
The memorial was designed by the Society's architect John James Joass and was constructed in Portland stone. It consists of a hexagonal column on steps, with six lights and a conical roof bearing a cross. The memorial tablets are at the base of the column.
An inscription on the memorial is taken from the poemThe Burial in England by James Elroy Flecker (1884-1915) and reads:
Till the red war gleam like a dim red rose
lost in the garden of the sons of time
The memorial was originally placed near the main gate but was moved to its current position by the Three Island Pond in 1952.
Memorial wreaths are placed on the War Memorial each year on Remembrance Day.
By R Jones
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