UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Trail 3: Ukrainian Monuments

Statue of St. Volodymyr

ukrainian monuments st volodymyr…

Located on the corner of Holland Park and Holland Park Avenue, the statue was erected to mark the Millennium, in 1988, of the Christianisation of Ukraine-Rus’. It is the work of the Canadian Ukrainian sculptor Leo Mol. The statue is often the focus of wreath layings, commemorations and demonstrations. Visitors to London and members of the Ukrainian community are frequently seen being photographed by the statue.

Holodomor Memorial

monuments Holodomor…

The Holodomor memorial was erected by the Ukrainian community in 1983, on the 50th anniversary of the 1932-33 artificially-created famine in Ukraine. It is located in the grounds of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Acton.

Every year, on Ukrainian National Holodomor Day (the fourth Saturday in November) the Ukrainian community, religious leaders, diplomats and visitors gather at the monument to pay their respects to the victims of the famine, in which many millions starved to death.

Plaque in Sussex Gardens

ukrainian monuments sussex gardens…

This plaque commemorates the Ukrainian Canadians who were based in this country during the Second World War as part of the Allied forces. It is on the wall of the building which housed the headquarters of the Ukrainian Canadian Servicemen’s Association (1943-1945), the Central Ukrainian Relief Bureau (1945-48) and the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (1946-47).

Yalta Memorial

In Thurloe Place SW7, on a small triangle of grass opposite the Victoria and Albert Museum, you can see a memorial to the Soviet citizens (Ukrainians, Cossacks, Russians and others) who were victims of forced repatriation to the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Two million were repatriated, as a consequence of an agreement between the Allies and Stalin at Yalta in 1943. Many were killed as soon as they were returned to Soviet soil.

This area is now known as the Yalta Memorial Garden. This is the second monument on this site: the first, which was a kinetic water feature, was irreparably damaged by vandals who used it as a see-saw.

Ivor Novello Plaque at St. Paul’s Cathedral

The Ukrainians and the Welsh have a lot in common, especially their love of music, and in St. Paul’s Cathedral there is a plaque which brings the two nations together. It commemorates the Welsh composer Ivor Novello and contains the epitaph:

“Blaze of lights and music calling,
Music weeping, rising, falling,
Like rare and precious diamond …”

On the plaque the quote is unattributed, but it is, in fact, a translation, by Vera Rich, of lines from Taras Shevchenko’s poem Haidamaky:

«Огні горять, музика грає,
Музика плаче, завиває,
Алмазом щирим дорогим ...»

A selection of Shevchenko’s poetry, in English translation by Vera Rich, can be found in ‘Song Out of Darkness’, published in London in 1961 (the above quote is on p. 95).

To see the plaque online, go to the St. Pauls’ website, History and Collections, Monuments and Memorials and search for ‘Ivor Novello’.