Aftermath - when the boys came home

Thursday 12 May 2011

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Memorials of the Great War

Some of the more interesting or unusual war memorials I've come across recently. I'd be glad to hear of any you think I should consider putting on this page.

Battersea Park, London

Eric Kennington's memorial for the 24th London Division stands in Battersea Park. His sculpted soldiers have much in common with his similar group of three soldiers on the Memorial to the Missing of the Aisne battlefield, at Soissons.

The most intriguing thing about this memorial however is that it's claimed that Robert Graves, a close friend of the sculptor, was the model for one of the soldiers.

If anyone can tell me more about the truth, or otherwise of that story please get in touch.

Well of SacrificeNew Forest, Hampshire

This picture shows an intriguing war memorial which is apparently built over a well.

The inscription above the entrance says Well of Sacrifice, and there is a list of those who died in both wars inside the (locked) gate.

What makes the memorial even more fascinating is its location. It is, believe it or not, in a place called Nomansland, a small village on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire.

Eric Gill memorial at Briantspuddle in Dorset
Briantspuddle in Dorset

...a slender column of Portland stone, soaring gracefully where so many memorials are blunt and dumpy.

Its inscription from the fifteenth century mystic Juliana of Norwich - speaks of hope rather than tame resignation:

It is sooth that sin is cause of all this pain but all shall be well and all shall be well all manner of thing shall be well.

This memorial is by no less an artist than Eric Gill and the houses of the street behind were partly designed by his brother MacDonald Gill.

from The Countryman Feb/March 1992

Great Gable Memorial
Great Gable Memorial

The Fell and Rock Climbing Club of Great Britain placed the memorial on the right into the summit rocks of Great Gable in the Lake District in memory of those of their number who died in the Great War: the inscription reads:

In glorious and happy memory of those whose names are inscribed below - members of this club who died for their country in the European War 1914-1918. These fells were acquired by their fellow members and by them vested in the National Trust for the use and enjoyment of the people of our land for all time...

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