The Memorial is located in the central area of the The Hoe, specifically Hoe Park, bordered on the north by Citadel Road and on the west by Lockyer Street. The Memorial is open to the public at all times, 365 days a year.
The Memorial was developed after World War One (architect Sir Robert Lorimer, sculptor Henry Poole) as a way of recognizing members of the Royal Navy who gave their lives at sea and were either lost or buried at sea. The Memorial is one of three, the other two located at Chatham and Portsmouth. An addition was created after the Second World War (architect Sir Edward Maufe, additional sculpting by Charles Wheeler and William McMillan). The Memorial bears the names of approximately 23,000 naval personnel from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and natives of the Commonwealth countries who volunteered. One of the notable groups of names were those of the South African Labor Corps troops, who came from what is now Soweto, 616 of whom drowned when the SS Mendi collided with another ship. Legend has it many of the troops, knowing their death was imminent performed the "Death Dance" until the ship slid beneath the waves.
All photos of panels are courtesy of Chris Goddard, Plymouth, England.