Lutyens’ ‘stoneology’ letter listing possible names for what became the Stone of Remembrance, 27 August 1917. © CWGC.
But no one quite knew what to call it or what to inscribe on it. Lutyens wanted “one thought in clear letters so that all men for all time may read and know the reason why these stones are so placed throughout France”. The original suggestion was “Their bodies lie buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore”(Ecclesiasticus 44:14), intended to run continuously round the stone above a large ‘AMEN’. However, as Lutyens’ letter explains, the full quote was too unwieldy to be effective.
Lutyens also considered many possible names for the stone. He listed them in a letter to Ware, calling it his “stoneology”. Options included “The Battle Stone”, “The Stone of Peace”, “The Stone of Pity”, “The King’s Stone” and “Our Stone” – all conveying quite different messages and tones. Interestingly, the name that was finally chosen is not on this list.
The seemingly-simple Stone of Remembrance actually uses an ingenious architectural technique devised for Classical temples. Known as entasis, the Stone’s edges are subtle convex curves that create an optical illusion of imposing scale and strength.