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Conference Papers
On-line Papers / Journal Articles

Paul Gough
Corporations and commemoration
– First World War remembrance, Lloyds TSB and the National Memorial Arboretum
International Journal of Heritage Studies, Winter, 2004


This paper explores the role of corporations and financial organizations in maintaining a memory of employees who have served during the wars of the twentieth century. Focusing initially on memorial schemes devised by finance houses in the commemorative era after the Great War, the author examines the emergence of a broader approach to organizational memory and the social construction of collective memory.

Taking the Lloyds TSB finance group as a case study, the author examines the origins of the company’s war memorial in central London, and the recent attempts to re-locate a number of memorial objects and icons accumulated during the expansion of the group.

This case study indicates how the social memory of an organization might be understood through an appraisal of the monumental furniture that lives, often invisibly, within an organization.

The paper concludes with a number of questions concerning the nature of organizational memory when confronted with a history of merger and acquisition, and the difficulties of finding a commemorative site able to represent and safeguard these histories.