The Arch of Remembrance
The main war memorial, the Arch of Remembrance, was designed by Edwin Lutyens and built between 1923 and 1925 to commemorate the dead of the First World War. It now has two approaches, one from Peace Walk, the other from the new Centenary Walk. The former is through a set of gates on University Road, also designed by Lutyens, and along an ornamental walkway previously known as War Memorial approach. The latter is through the main park gates on London Road and along the processional way. The main gates and lodges are also Lutyens designed and were added several years later. The lodges and gates were commissioned by Sir Jonathan North, Mayor of Leicester through the First World War, in memory of his late wife.
The Arch of remembrance is a grade one listed building, whist the gates and lodges are listed grade 2, as is Victoria Park itself. The memorial has been described as the most imposing of Lutyens English war memorials.
This early photograph with little tree cover nearby shows how the monument would have looked when first built. The railing and gates now surrounding the monument being added later.
The 82nd Airborne Division Memorial
This is the much smaller and less well known memorial on the park which is to commemorate the American 82nd Airborne Division who were stationed in Leicester prior to D-Day in World War Two. The double A signifies ‘All American’ as they had recruits from all 48 US states when first formed.