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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 16:14 GMT
Churchill memorial gates unveiled
Baroness Thatcher with Canon Phillip Buckler at Churchill gates
Baroness Thatcher views the Churchill memorial gates.
A new memorial to commemorate the 130th anniversary of Winston Churchill's birth has been unveiled at St Paul's Cathedral, central London.

The monument takes the form of steel gates opening on to a crypt.

The Duke of Kent led the dedication on Tuesday, attended by Sir Edward Heath, Baroness Thatcher, Conservative leader Michael Howard and Churchill's family.

Lady Mary Soames, Churchill's last surviving child, said the gates are a "fitting memorial to my father".

She described them as a "triumph of design" and a "great tribute to British craftsmen".

'Greatest servants'

Leading the dedication, the Duke of Kent said the memorial was to "one of our nation's greatest servants in peace and in war".

Churchill, who led the country during the Blitz, was closely associated with the cathedral after he said: "At all costs, St Paul's must be saved."

The wartime prime minister was one of three non-royals to have a state funeral at St Paul's.

The three-tonne Churchill memorial screen was designed by blacksmith James Horrobin at studios in Somerset.

Five-hundred pieces of naval brass and a feature depicting the Order of Merit are incorporated in the gates to reflect aspects of Churchill's life.

The privately-funded commission took a year to complete and cost 260,000.

Dean of St Paul's, the Very Rev Dr John Moses, said: "In the cathedral where we commemorate so many of our nation's heroes, the man who many British people would adjudge to be the greatest leader of the 20th Century ought to be commemorated."

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