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Cross of Sacrifice


The Cross of Sacrifice was a design proposed by Sir Frederick Kenyon, director of the British Museum, appointed as advisor to the Imperial - later Commonwealth War Graves Commission by Fabian Ware as its founder. He proposed this as an additional symbol to the War Stone - later termed Stone of Remembrance, of LUTYENS, the latter design meant to be a universal symbol of the alter on which young men laid their lives in sacrifice to the cause and their country of the Great War. Reginald BLOMFIELD, as senior of the three architects, the other being Sir Herbert BAKER, designed what was to be named the Cross of Sacrifice, which embraces the Christian idea of self-sacrifice of the British soldiers. Its symbolism therefore essentially differs from the War Stone, which might be misinterpreted as suggesting that the soldiers were sacrificed against their will. From the different designs it was ultimately decided to implement Blomfield's proposal for every memorial cemetery, with the exception of the Chinese and Indian cemeteries and an early cemetery in Etreux. Its design is based on that of a Celtic cross, the proportions, with its long shaft and short arms, refering to a Celtic cross rather than a Christian crucifix, which is based more on the proportions of the human body. On the cross, on one or two sides depending on its positioning, a bronze sword is attached as a military symbol. Four sizes having similar proportions with heights of 4,2, 5,4, 6,0 and 7,2 m (14,18, 20 and 24 feet) for the different sizes of cemeteries where they were eventually placed were designed. (Geurst, 2010: 46) See also Wikipedia