October 26, 2004
Statue of the Bomber – and the Bomber talking

Today I contributed to a panel discussion organised by some LSE students. On my way there, from the Temple tube station, I encountered the statue of Bomber Harris and took a photo of it. It's impressive, I think.

BomberHarris1.jpg

In general I think that all the Second World War military statues tend to be very fine, being full of individual character. Although I guess all those long dead aristocrats on horseback looked more individual to people used to the nuances of horsemanship than they do to someone like me.

While googling for Harris linkage, I found that if you click on this link you can actually hear Harris himself talking.

"There are a lot of people who say that bombing can never win a war. Well, my answer to that is that it has never been tried yet."

A scary man. The human embodiment of the whirlwind reaped by Nazi Germany.

What a difference it makes to our appreciation of the past if we can actually hear dead people talking to us. As I seem to recall writing here before, what would we not give for a similar little snatch of, say, William Shakespeare talking,

Photographing statues is a very hit or miss thing I find. The darkness of the object combined with the arbitrary shadows caste by nearby trees (especially) can obliterate the shape of the thing entirely. But this snap came out quite well, especially when you factor in that a lot of the character of these statues is in the body langauge and the way the uniform is worn rather than just in the face. And this time the trees were on my side, metaphorically speaking, because behind the statue literally.

My one hurried attempt to photograph the writing on the plinth was not such a success.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:55 PM
Category: HistorySculpture