The Naval Memorial at Plymouth Hoe, which Princess Margaret unveiled on 20 May 1954, was the last of a series of three monuments to commemorate the deaths of the 15,600 officers and men of the Royal Navy who died during the Second World War and who had no grave but the sea. The memorial took the form of a sunken garden designed by the architect Sir Edward Maufe R.A (1882-1974) and which complimented the obelisk erected in memory of the dead of the First World War, designed by Sir Robert Lorimer (1864-1929). In contrast to the other memorials at Chatham and Portsmouth the Plymouth memorial includes the names of the naval forces of the Commonwealth territories who died in the conflict. Of the 11,000 people who attended the ceremony the majority were next-of-kin of those being commemorated. In her speech the Princess said she spoke as 'the daughter of a sailor' and said 'how greatly the King loved the Navy and the sea'. In the uneasy peace of the time the Princess noted that is was 'not only right, but a very real source of strength to remember the endurance and unfaltering resolve of those who did not live to share the victory which had been so hardly won'.
This model of Sir Francis Drake is copied from a bronze sculpture by Sir Joseph Boehm Bt. R.A. in Plymouth. When the intention to raise a national monument to Drake was proposed it was intended that the cost would be met by public subscription. However, insufficient funds were raised. Instead the sculpture, designed by Sir Joseph Boehm Bt., was erected in Tavistock, where Drake was born, at the expense of the Duke of Bedford. He later allowed Boehm to produce a 10 foot high bronze replica which was erected in Plymouth on 14 February 1884.