A pop-up exhibition has opened at Victoria station to commemorate the anniversary of the arrival of the Unknown Warrior at the station a century ago.
On 10th November 1920, at 8:32pm a special railway carriage pulled into Victoria Station. Inside was the body of an unidentified British serviceman who had been killed in the fighting of the First World War. This serviceman was to be laid to rest in Westminster Abbey the following day. Here, he would be immortalised as the ‘Unknown Warrior’ and become a powerful symbol of the sacrifice of war.
The Unknown Warrior’s journey to London in November 1920 aroused great excitement and drew huge crowds. He was first taken to an ancient chateau at Boulogne, where he was placed in a special oak coffin. The following day he was conveyed across the channel to Dover in the Destroyer HMS Verdun. Here he was placed in a special railway carriage and taken to Victoria Station with his train arriving at Platform 8 on the evening of 10th November.
A plaque next to Platform 8 still commemorates the arrival.
For the next week, a series of panels created with the National Army Museum in Chelsea explains to passengers the story of the Unknown Warrior.
The pop-up exhibition at Victoria Station will be running until 17th of November.
A larger exhibition of the story is on display at the National Army Museum until 14 February 2021.