The Arch of Remembrance is a First World War memorial designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and located in Victoria Park, Leicester, in the East Midlands of England. Leicester’s industry contributed significantly to the British war effort. A temporary war memorial was erected in 1917, and a committee was formed in 1919 to propose a permanent memorial. The committee resolved to appoint Lutyens as architect and to site the memorial in Victoria Park. Lutyens’s first proposal was accepted by the committee but was scaled back and eventually cancelled due to a shortage of funds. The committee then asked Lutyens to design a memorial arch, which he presented to a public meeting in 1923.
The memorial is a single Portland stone arch with four legs (a tetrapylon or quadrifrons), 69 feet 4 1⁄4 inches (21 metres) tall. The legs form four arched openings, two large on the main axis, 36 feet (11 metres) tall, oriented north-west to south-east, and two small on the sides, 24 feet (7.3 metres) tall. At the top of the structure is a large dome, set back from the edge. The main arches are aligned so the sun shines through them at sunrise on 11 November (Armistice Day). The inside of the arch has a decorative coffered ceiling and the legs support painted stone flags which represent each of the British armed forces and the Merchant Navy. The arch is surrounded by decorative iron railings, and complemented by the later addition of a set of gates at the University Road entrance to the park and a pair of gates and lodges at the London Road entrance—the war memorial is at the intersection of the paths leading from the two entrances.
With a large budget devoted entirely to the structure, the result is one of Lutyens’s largest and most imposing war memorials. It dominates Victoria Park and the surrounding area, and can be seen from the main southward routes out of the city (though building work in the intervening years has reduced the area from which it is visible). The memorial was unveiled on 4 July 1925 by two local widows in front of a large crowd, including Lutyens. It cost £27,000, though the committee was left with a funding shortfall of £5,500 which several members of the committee made up from their own pockets; the committee was sharply criticized in the local press for their handling of the campaign. The arch is a Grade I listed building and, since 2015, has been part of a national collection of Lutyens’s war memorials.