The Chindit Memorial, London

DBR Conservation

The Chindit Memorial, designed by architect David Price, commemorates the Chindit Special Forces, which served in Burma under Major General Orde Wingate in the Second World War.

These men were trained to penetrate deep behind Japanese lines, and the operation became legendary for the unending marches of malnourished troops weakened by disease through extremely difficult jungle terrain.

The Chindits were named after a mythical beast who guards Burmese temples, and the sculpture of the chinthe that tops the tapering 4 metres high Portland stone pillar was designed by by Frank Forster. The memorial was erected in Victoria Embankment Gardens in 1990, near the Ministry of Defence headquarters.

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DBR Conservation was responsible for work on this monument in early 2016. Conservation treatment included removing soil, failed pointing, and organic matter from the open joints, treating the base with biocide, and then repointing the steps with natural hydraulic lime mortar.

A localised poultice was used to remove the copper sulphate staining from the limestone beneath the two bronze plaques, one with the Chindtiot motto: “The boldest measures are the safest”. The medallions were then cleaned with warm water and a non-ionic surfactant, and thoroughly dried. A micro-crystalline wax was then applied and buffed into the surface.

The last treatment was to clean the two illegible inscriptions of old decayed paint and lichen with steam and dentistry tools. The cut letters were then gilded in pure 24 carat gold.

 

 

 

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