After the First World War, an appropriate way had to be found of commemorating those members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave. An Admiralty committee recommended that the three naval ports in Great Britain – Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth – should each have an identical memorial of unmistakable naval form, which would serve as a landmark for shipping. The memorials were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, with sculpture by Henry Poole.
Following the Second World War, it was decided that the three naval memorials should be extended to provide space for commemorating the naval dead of that war. However despite the original intention, all three sites were in fact built different to each other. The Plymouth memorial was designed by Sir Edward Mafue (who also designed the Air Forces memorial at Runnymede) and the additional sculpture was by Charles Wheeler. It was unveiled in May 1954.
The Plymouth Naval Memorial commemorates 7,275 sailors of the First World War and 15,933 of the Second World War.
Julian Purser, age: 22, death date: 23 February 1946