Stone bomb mounted on a plinth.
Ironic sculptural depiction of a bomb, prompted as a reaction to Mussolini's air attack on Ethiopia, 2 October 1932, and in response to those who at the League of Nations had defended aerial bombing as a legitimate action in warfare.
Described at its unveiling as a 'monument of irony', the work of a young Essex sculptor, Eric Benfield. 'He had provided the memorial stone to those who, at the League of Nations, insisted on the retention of the bombing plane. It had been proposed that the bombing plane should be abolished and outlawed ... War from the air was far more swift and deadly than anything else. It annihilated distances ... The bombing plane brought war home to the children, it was not confined to the trenches ... Those who had preserved bombing were politically and morally dead, and this was their gravestone". ...
... Mr James Ranger, the prospective Socialist candidate for the Epping division paid his tribute to the young sculptor who had evolved that memorial. "It is a memorial to those who have reserved to us the right to bomb others and who have therefore reserved to us the right to be bombed by others". That was the warning of the memorial'. (Newspaper reporting of speeches of Sylvia Pankhurst, James Ranger, et al.)(1)
The monument 'was defaced several times by local fascists'.(2)
The monument was unveiled a second time as a protest against the use of gas by Mussolini.(3)
Set up in grounds of Sylvia Pankhurst's house(?)(3)
Escalation in warfare caused by Mussolini's attack on Ethiopia, October 2 1932, and as a protest against the defence, by British politicians, of the use of bombing planes which Sylvia Pankhurst condemned.
TO THOSE WHO IN 1932 / UPHELD THE RIGHT TO / USE BOMBING AEROPLANES
THIS MONUMENT/ IS RAISED AS A / PROTEST AGAINST / WAR IN THE AIR.
THE SITE OF THIS MONUMENT IS / THE PROPERTY OF / SYLVIA PANKHURST / DESIGN AND WORK BY / ERIC BENFIELD.
ORIGINALLY / UNVEILED BY / R. ZAPHIRO / SECRETARY OF THE / IMPERIAL ETHIOPIAN / LEGATION LONDON / SUPPORTED BY / JAMES RANGER / E.J.A. WEBSTER / J. DAVEY. / SYLVIA PANKHURST / OCTOBER 20TH 1935.
PMSA recording information