Lutyens & the CWGC in Flanders by Prof. Mark Connelly
Wednesday 20 March 2019, 6pm-7:30pm
Flanders House, 1a Cavendish Square, London W1G 0LD
During the centenary years of the Great War, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has been working on a multi-million pound project for the restoration and conservation of the cemeteries and memorials in its care, many of them designed by or under the supervision of Edwin Lutyens.
In 2017, the CWGC invited a small group of Lutyens Trust members to join them on a tour of some of their most important sites in northern France, including Lutyens’s Thiepval, Villiers Bretonneux and the Faubourg d’Amiens.
The tour was led by the CWGC directors and heads of departments responsible for this work, who explained the challenges they faced and solutions adopted. Where alternative solutions were under consideration, they also took the opportunity to discuss these with the Trust members.
The tour provided a fascinating opportunity for a close-up look at the work of the CWGC, in caring for these important Edwin Lutyens works.
As a follow-up to this successful tour, the CWGC is now offering our members a similar 3-day tour of their work in Flanders. This will run from 17 – 19 May 2019.
To set the scene for the tour – and at the invitation of the Government of Flanders – there will be a lecture at Flanders House, London by Mark Connelly, Professor of Modern British Military History at the University of Kent, who will speak about the WWI conflict along the Flanders front.
Lutyens, the Imperial War Graves Commission and the Ypres Salient
As a Principal Architect of the IWGC, Sir Edwin Lutyens played an extremely influential role in establishing the overarching architectural and horticultural principles for the Commission. This talk will look at Lutyens’s work, and how he engaged with the junior architects of the Commission who carried out much of the detailed work on the cemeteries. In particular, the talk will explore the work he oversaw in the Ypres Salient, which was the key battlefield for the British Empire in the twenties and thirties, and compare and contrast it with the cemetery and memorial projects carried out by the Commission’s other Principal Architects in the Ypres area.