Kenneth Armitage discusses Model for Krefeld Monument, 'In 1956 I had been approached by the director of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld, Germany, who had the idea that they should have a war memorial there. He invited sculptors with international names: Marino Marini submitted a model, but I won first prize. I was delighted but nothing came of it. There was an outcry in the Krefeld press that an English sculptor, a former enemy, should win the prize, and understandably, the scheme fell through. A cast of the model, now called Krefeld Monument (1956), was purchased by Margaret Gardiner, who founded the Pier Gallery in Orkney, with its selective collection of work by Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson and the like' (see T. Woollcombe, Kenneth Armitage Life and Work, Much Hadham, 1997, p. 54).
It is believed that the three figures in the present piece represent, army, navy and airforce. During the 1950s Armitage was profoundly influenced by the devastation revealed by Allied bombing during the Second World War. The shells of the blasted buildings left behind had buttressed cellular structures, similar to that found in Model for Krefeld Monument.