Letter from Ministry of Works concerning coffin of the Unknown Warrior
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|Subject||Williams, David John|
|Title||Letter from Ministry of Works concerning coffin of the Unknown Warrior|
|Notes||In November 1920 Mr David John Williams of the Brunswick Ironworks received a telegram from the Minister of Works requesting his presence in London and was given the Commission for the Ironwork for the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. |
The ceremony was going to take place on the 11th November in Westminster Abbey. Mr Williams had to design and attach the handles to the coffin, which was made from English Oak from the forest at Hampton Court Palace. He also designed the iron bands that bound the coffin and antique hammered the plaque that was to be attached to the top of the coffin. He worked for two days and nights to make these.
The coffin left England in November for the journey across the Channel to France where the remains of an unknown serviceman had been selected for burial. The body, in a teal casket, was placed in the coffin and brought to London, first on the destroyer HMS Verdun and then by train from Dover to Victoria Station. The procession made its way via the Mall to Whitehall where it paused for the unveiling of the Cenotaph.
At the Abbey the coffin passed through a guard of honour of holders of the Victoria Cross and was buried in the Abbey in the presence of a vast congregation, headed by the King and Queen.
Mr Williams received this letter from the Minister of Works thanking him for his excellent workmanship.
|Item Date||12th November 1920|
|Copyright||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor|
|Digital repository||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford|
|Contributor Name||Richard Marshall (Caernarfon Submission Day 8th May 2008)|
|Contributed on the behalf of||Pam Smith, on behalf of Brunswick Ironworks, Caernarfon|