It is not easy to get information about the precise idea behind this unusual group of figures but their important place in the memorial's design makes it worth examining more closely and trying to work out what message they are trying to convey. The group is called the 'Defenders', which may not be that unusual an idea but what kind of defenders are these? Not a weapon in sight and one of the group is breaking a sword. The biblical injunction of 'beating sword into ploughshares' is well known but has not been widely taken up by active Christians nor biblical fundamentalists who are more worried about what we do in bed than what happens in armaments factories and military research laboratories.

The lower figure's attempt to break a sword is a powerful image of intent. Can you imagine anything so outrageous on a British war memorial - a plea for disarmament!