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PhilB

WW1 Memorial Statues

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I`ve just been looking at the statue of the WW1 soldier (looks like dark metal of some kind) on the memorial outside Whitchurch, Cardiff, public library and it struck me that I never seem to see two statues alike. I can`t imagine they were all made differently to order and I assume there was a "standard" one or perhaps a small number of options. What were the options and how much would they typically cost? Phl B

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Phil,

do'nt know if this answers your question but;

Courtesy of the CWGC Website:

"Structures

In any cemetery with over 40 graves, you can find The Cross of Sacrifice, designed by the architect Reginald Blomfield to represent the faith of the majority. By using a simple cross embedded with a bronze sword and mounted on an octagonal base, Blomfield hoped to, in his words, ‘keep clear of any of the sentimentalities of Gothic".

for more info see:

http://www.cwgc.org/content.asp?menuid=2&a...re&menu=sub

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Thanks, Toffo. I was really wondering about non-CWGC memorials in towns etc. The Whitchurch one appears to have a Loyals capbadge (not typical of South Wales!) which makes me wonder if it`s a stock type. Phil B

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I think they were commissioned by the bodies which funded them. Councils etc. There are sculptors and designers who appear to have made or designed more than one but , in the main, I think they were individual. Like yourself, I can't think of any that are really common.

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I think thuthergw is right - in the research I have done there was no list for councils etc to consult - the memorials were all commissioned on an individual basis. though of course this might not be the case everywhere.

As far as cost is concerned, for a bronze statue on a stone plinth I reckon you would be paying in the region of £1,200 - 2,000 in the UK in the 1920s. Obviously the cost varies according to design, number of figures, sculptor etc.

Swizz

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Whilst it would be nice to think that they`re all individual, it`s hard to believe that the suppliers, to what must have been a considerable market, didn`t use economies of scale and use standard parts. They certainly would nowadays. Perhaps things were different then? Be interesting to see if anyone can come up with two identical statues. Phil B

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In the January 2007 edition of Stand To!, on pages 38/39, there are photgraphs of various memorials in a most interesting set of pictures from the collection of David Cohen.

One of these, entitled To Our Fallen Heroes (sorry! Can't post a pic), which shows a soldier in full service dress with helmet, rifle etc., is described as:

"Design for a War Memorial as seen at Streatham Common (London), Thornton Cleveleys (Lancs), Leamington Spa (Warwicks), Stone (Staffs) and Flers (France)".

The design is by Albert Toft, FRBS (1862-1949).

The statue is not entirely disimilar to the Royal Fusiliers (City of London) Regiment Memorial in Holborn (London).

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QUOTE (Phil_B @ Apr 3 2007, 02:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Whilst it would be nice to think that they`re all individual, it`s hard to believe that the suppliers, to what must have been a considerable market, didn`t use economies of scale and use standard parts. They certainly would nowadays. Perhaps things were different then? Be interesting to see if anyone can come up with two identical statues. Phil B

In the case of bronzes, it would depend on how they were made but if there was a mould they may have kept it. It would depend on who owned the reproduction rights. Stone statues were hand carved so each would be individual even when working to the same pattern. Stone and monumental masons were much more common then. I don't know whether the market would have been very great. I don't think a council would go very far for its monument and they would probably not have been keen on one exactly like the village/church/parish up the road.

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I pass by Thornton Cleveleys occasionally and will try to get a photo of theirs. Perhaps someone might pass one of those others. If it is a standard type, there are possibly others about! Phil B

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Several of the Canadian cemeteries use the "Brooding Soldier" statue-oblisque designed by Clementia from Regina, Canada.

Borden Battery

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I don't think a council would go very far for its monument and they would probably not have been keen on one exactly like the village/church/parish up the road.

I don't know about anywhere else, but a significant number of war memorial committees in the north of Ireland chose English sculptors for their memorials. I can only think of a couple who had statues made locally. With cenotaphs, plaques, obelisks etc its another story though since they seem to have been local - ie Irish - productions in most cases..

Swizz

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Phil

If you check out this thread, you'll see that there clearly was some duplication as might be expected.

We ended up identifying what was essentially the same memorial (differing headgear/uniform) in three locations. Perhaps there are more?

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There's a pic of the statue on Leamington's memorial, here: http://www.1914-1918.net/grandad/grandad.htm

He stands on top of a plinth, on which are the names of the fallen. He's not a bit like Flers or the Royal Fusiliers memorial. But I do recall reading that he was one of several - so where are they?

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Looks like you could have a standard body with interchangeable heads! Phil B

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