Virtual tour

The Western Transept

The transepts to the south at either end of the Hall of Honour are plain and square in plan. They are entered by a double arch divided by a broad pier. The arches echo the configuration of the bays on the north wall. Each transept is lit by a single window identical in form to those on the east and west walls. Here the monuments are to the non-combatants and especially the women.

It is the Women's Services that are the subject of the window here. Beneath it is a deep bronze relief by Alice Meredith Williams of nurses and orderlies gathered around a wounded man on a stretcher, which commemorates the Women's Services and the Nursing Services.
But perhaps more remarkable is the monument on the opposite wall which is to the women of Scotland, to the support they gave to the men at war, but also to their toil, suffering and grief. And so the inscription in the bronze reads, "In honour of all Scotswomen who, amid the stress of war, sought by their labours, sympathy and prayer, to obtain for their country the blessings of Peace."

High above this is a tall bronze panel, topped by circular relief in oxidised bronze of a ship at sea by Pilkington Jackson. It commemorates another non-combatant group, the sailors of the Merchant Navy. While on the pier between the two entrance arches a bronze relief by Hazel Kennedy commemorates the Chaplains, here shown conducting a service in the devastated landscape of the Western Front.

The medallions of animals by Phillis Bone also continue in this Transept, but in a gentle and charming touch, at eye level on the side wall of the westernmost arch a small relief commemorates the canaries and the mice, the Tunnellers' Friends.

A deservedly popular detail in this complex building, it is also a further reminder of the theme of inclusiveness, that this whole monument reaches universals through the particular. But it is in the Shrine itself that we see most clearly that the universal and the particular are joined.