The Bali bombing memorial, Horseguards Avenue

bali bombing memorial london

On 12 October 2002, Islamist suicide bombers detonated a large car bomb and a device in a backpack in nightclubs in the popular tourist location of Kuta, in Bali, Indonesia. 202 people were killed, nearly all of whom were under 40.

The country with the most fatalities was Australia; 88 of the victims came from there, and there are memorials to those killed in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Canberra among other cities.

23 UK citizens died, and London has its own memorial in Horseguards Avenue, just at the foot of Clive Steps.

This was unveiled by Charles and Camilla (as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall) on 12 October 2006, the fourth anniversary of the outrage. 

Designed by Gary Breeze and with the carving by Breeze and Martin Cook, the memorial is a sphere, on which are carved 202 doves, each of which is different, to represent each of the individuals who lost their lives. This globe is set within a curved wall of Portland stone which bears the names of all of the victims.

Cook explained the symbolism of the memorial: ‘All of the 202 doves are unique, to represent each life lost and as symbols for peace. The globe shows how the victims came from all parts of the world and how indiscriminate terrorism is’.

The site of the memorial is right next to the Foreign Office building, and was specifically requested by the United Kingdom Bali Bombings Victims’ Group, as a reminder that the government did not give adequate warning of any terrorist threat in Indonesia.