The foundation stone was laid by Brigadier General Sir William Henry Manning, Governor of Ceylon on December 7, 1921 and was unveiled by him October 27, 1923 at the Galle Face Green and was known as the Victory tower. It was dismantled and re-erected at Victoria Park, during World War II after fears that the Japanese might use it as a marker to direct their artillery. The Cenotaph contains the names of those killed in the Great War, while the Memorial Wall behind it maintains the names of those killed in the Second World War. A single woman, Miss L. Midwood is listed among the dead of the Great war.
An annual National Service of Remembrance is held at the site on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11 November (Armistice Day) each year