First World War memorial by George Hubbard, with sculpture by Allan Wyon, erected in 1922. Additional dedications to the Fallen of later wars added after 1945.
Reasons for Designation
Shropshire War Memorial, erected in 1922 by George Hubbard, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as a well-executed Portland stone rotunda, by George Hubbard FSA FRIBA;
* Sculptural interest: as a strong depiction of Saint Michael in Gothic armour and carrying a pennanted lance, by Allan Gairdner Wyon FRBS;
* Design interest: for an unusual set of mosaic floors depicting military, religious and civic symbols;
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Group value: with the Grade I listed Church of St Chad, the Grade II listed Lodge, Grade II listed gates and Grade II statuary within the Quarry (including the Grade II listed Boer War Memorial). It also holds group value with the Grade II Registered Quarry Park and Dingle Gardens.
The aftermath of the First World War saw an unprecedented wave of public commemoration with tens of thousands of memorials erected across the country, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.
One such memorial was raised at Shrewsbury, as permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The cost of the memorial was raised by public subscription. The memorial cost £4400, with the remaining funds collected being split between the Royal Salop Infirmary and Shrewsbury Orthopaedic Hospital.
The memorial was designed by George Hubbard FSA FRIBA, of Hubbard and Moore, around a central figure by Allan Gairdner Wyon FRBS. The monument was built by Messrs Kirkpartrick and the statue was cast by A B Burton, of Thames Ditton. The memorial was unveiled on 29 July 1922 by George Herbert, 4th Earl of Powis, the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, in a ceremony presided over by the Right Reverend John Kempthorne, the Bishop of Lichfield.
George Hubbard FSA FRIBA was born in 1859 in Market Bosworth, and was responsible for a number of war memorials, including the Grade II listed Cambridge and Mottingham War Memorials. He was twice elected Vice President of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Allan Gairdner Wyon FRBS was born in 1882, and studied sculpture at the Royal Academy. Wyon was assistant sculptor to Hamo Thornycroft, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. Wyon sculpted a number of war memorials, including the memorial to Edward Wyndham Tennant in Salisbury Cathedral, the Hinckley War Memorial, the Institute of Mining Engineers War Memorial and the Cambrian Railways War Memorial. As well as a number of church memorials, Wyon sculpted the East Wind figure, for the Grade I listed 55 Broadway, London.
An inscription was added to the frieze of the memorial in 1949, and was unveiled by General Sir Oliver Leese in a ceremony presided over by Bishop Suffragan of Shrewsbury on 6 November 1949. The inscriptions in the floor and in front of the gate were also added after 1945.
First World War memorial by George Hubbard, with sculpture by Allan Wyon, erected in 1922.
MATERIALS: Portland stone rotunda with bronze figure.
DESCRIPTION: The memorial comprises a Portland stone open rotunda, with a domed stone canopy and entablature resting on six Ionic columns. The frieze is inscribed: IN MEMORY OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF SHROPSHIRE WHO FELL IN THE TWO WORLD WARS 1914 – 18 AND 1939 – 45. The internal frieze is decorated with the arms of the six boroughs of Shropshire, one above each column. The rotunda sits on a three stepped granite plinth, and is surrounded by a circular set of bronze railings, cast in a lozenge pattern.
The centre of the rotunda is occupied by a bronze statue of Saint Michael depicted as the field commander of the Army of God, in a full set of Gothic plate armour and holding a pennanted lance. His right hand is held out in benediction, he has a halo in the shape of a solar cross and he is framed by a large pair of feathered wings. The statue stands on a low hexagonal plinth, which is surrounded by 6 hexagonal plaques inlaid into the floor of the monument.
Right in front of the statue, the first plaque is inscribed: REMEMBER / + / THE GALLANT / MEN AND WOMEN / OF SHROPSHIRE / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / FOR GOD KING AND / COUNTRY / 1914 – 18 + 1939 – 45. Moving clockwise, the other five plaques show the county arms of Shropshire, a Croix de Guerre, an empty cross in front of a rising sun, the badge of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and the arms of the town of Shrewsbury.
A brass plaque laid in the ground in front of the gates of the enclosure is inscribed as follows:
This War Memorial was built in 1922-3 in honour of the men and women of Shropshire who fell in the Great War of 1914-18. The war / dead of 1939-45 are also commemorated by this monument. It was designed by George Hubbard and Son and built in Portland stone. / The richly embellished floor shows the County and Regimental arms on a gold mosaic background. The seals or arms of the six / boroughs of the County are embossed on the inside frieze. The bronze figure of Saint Michael beneath the canopy is by A G Wyon.