Houses of Parliament Bookends, 1941
Houses of Parliament Bookends, 1941
Houses of Parliament Bookends, 1941
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Houses of Parliament Bookends, 1941
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Houses of Parliament Bookends, 1941

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Height: 15cm (6in)

Stone and lead. After the Houses of Parliament were damaged by enemy action in May 1941, Stonecraft Limited of London obtained rights to work the blitzed fabric of the building into a range of useful artefacts that were sold in aid of the Red Cross & St John Fund. The present bookends were made to a design by the sculptor F.J. Halnon FRBS and bear lead roundels featuring the cross and crusader sword badge of the Anglo-American First Army and the words ‘This Stone Came From The Houses of Parliament’. 

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The Commons chamber destroyed 

The Palace of Westminster was damaged by air raids on fourteen different occasions during the Second World War. The incendiary bombs which fell on the nights of 10 and 11 May 1941 caused the greatest damage to the Palace. The Commons Chamber was hit by bombs and the roof of Westminster Hall was set on fire. The fire service said that it would be impossible to save both, so it was decided to concentrate on saving Westminster Hall. The Commons Chamber was entirely destroyed by the fire which spread to the Members' Lobby and caused the ceiling to collapse. By the following morning, all that was left of the Chamber was a smoking shell. A small bomb struck the Clock Tower and broke all the glass on its south face, but the clock and bells were undamaged and the chimes could be broadcast as usual. The House of Lords was struck by a bomb which passed through the floor of the Chamber without exploding.

Frederick James Halnon (1881-1958) worked as both sculptor and teacher, and was born and lived in London. He studied at Goldsmiths’ Institute from the age of 11, won two national gold medals in 1902–3, and was a pupil of the sculptor Alfred Drury. Went on to become modelling master at Goldsmiths’ College. Showed at RA, RI, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and elsewhere and was a fellow of RBS. Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead acquired his work and he completed a war memorial panel for Ashford, Kent.