THE SOVIET WAR MEMORIAL IN LONDON
The Soviet War Memorial in London is located in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, which surrounds the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ.
The Memorial was unveiled on 9 May 1999 by UK Defence Secretary George Robertson MP and Russian Ambassador HE Yuri Fokin. The first wreath was laid by HRH The Duke of Kent, President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The bronze sculpture “Sorrowful” measures 3.5m high, 1.2m wide and 91cm deep. The semi-abstract figure holds aloft a bell which will forever remain silent in memory of those who died. The sculptor was Sergei Shcherbakov from Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) in Russia. The sculpture was made in Russia.
The memorial stone and base were made in the UK. The main inscription on the stone reads:
ВЕЧНАЯ ВАМ ПАМЯТЬ
This memorial commemorates the 27 million Soviet citizens
& service men & women who died for the Allied Victory in WWII
WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM
In addition, the stone records that “This Memorial was raised by public subscription in Great Britain and Russia” (with a Russian translation).
The idea for the Memorial stemmed from ceremonies that took place at Soviet war graves in Wiltshire and Dorset in May 1995, and a subsequent motion at the AGM of the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies which urged the Society to press for the creation of a memorial in London to commemorate all Soviet wartime losses – military and civilian.
From 1997 to 2018 the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund [SMTF] was responsible for the erection of the Memorial and subsequent commemorative events. In 2018, the SMTF was transformed into a charity registered with HMRC. It is now called the Soviet War Memorial Trust [SWMT].