Malvern War Memorial


Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1407573

Date first listed: 14-Jun-2012

Location Description:

Statutory Address: Malvern War Memorial, Malvern Library, Graham Road, Malvern, WR14 2HU


Ordnance survey map of Malvern War Memorial
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Statutory Address: Malvern War Memorial, Malvern Library, Graham Road, Malvern, WR14 2HU

Location Description:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Worcestershire

District: Malvern Hills (District Authority)

Parish: Malvern

National Grid Reference: SO7770346112


A First World War memorial, erected in 1923 to the designs of Sir Aston Webb and Son, with a sculpture by Captain Richard Reginald Goulden.

Reasons for Designation

Malvern War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by this community in both World Wars; * Design interest: for its moving and highly accomplished sculpture of the Spirit of Youth; * Group Value: for its functional and aesthetic relationship with the Malvern Library. The library lobby houses the roll of honour for the memorial and the memorial stands on the central axis of that building's symmetrical facade. Both buildings make a significant contribution to the character of the Great Malvern Conservation Area.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. One such memorial was erected in the garden/forecourt at Malvern Library in 1923; the roll of honour listing the men of Malvern who died during the War was installed in the library. In c. 2008 landscape improvements were undertaken to the garden/forecourt of the library and the memorial was heightened by the addition of a supplementary base. The memorial is the work of Sir Aston Webb and Son and the sculptor Captain Richard Reginald Goulden (1877-1932), one of several noted sculptors who served their country during the First World War. Goulden was born in Dover and was educated at the Dover School of Art where he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. Although he was principally a portrait sculptor, Goulden produced some notable public memorials, including several war memorials which include the People of Dover War Memorial (listed Grade II), the Kingston-upon-Thames War Memorial (listed Grade II) and the Reigate and Redhill War Memorial (listed Grade II). Goulden utilised a common imagery in many of his memorials, often featuring a flaming cross or torch, thorns, and the figure of an adult or child. For the Malvern War Memorial, Goulden used the single figure of a winged child, representing the Spirit of Youth. The figure is based on a sculpture Goulden designed as the centrepiece of a fountain at Pittencrieff House, Dunfermline in 1908; the house had recently been bought by Andrew Carnegie and at this time Goulden was working as Art Adviser to the Carnegie Trust. In the original sculpture, which is named, 'Let Noble Ambition be the Thirst of Youth Always', the figure of Youth reaches for a winged laurel wreath. After Goulden's death the figure of Youth became a memorial to its creator with a version of the sculpture now standing at the entrance to Newhaven Cemetery, where Goulden is buried; in this version Youth holds a flaming cross. Several other versions of the sculpture are believed to exist in private ownership.


MATERIALS: bronze and stone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial stands in the garden/forecourt of Malvern Library and takes the form of a bronze sculpture of a winged, young boy representing the Spirit of Youth, standing with his arms stretched upwards, holding a flaming torch; at his feet is a crown of thorns. The sculpture stands on a tapering, rectangular-on-plan, stone pedestal which, in turn, sits on a square-on-plan, stone plinth; the pedestal is inscribed, 'TO THOSE WHO / NOBLY SERVED / 1914 - 1919'. Below the plinth there is a two-stepped, square-on-plan stone base which sits upon an additional three-stepped, square-on-plan stone base which was added c.2008.

The roll of honour listing the 360 men of Malvern who died in the First World War is located in the library and is inscribed, 'THESE ARE THE / NAMES OF THE / MEN OF MALVERN / WHO FELL IN THE / GREAT WAR / 1914 -1918 / TO COMMEMORATE THEIR SACRIFICE THE PEOPLE OF MALVERN / ERECTED IN 1923 IN THE GARDEN OF THIS LIBRARY, THE BRONZE / FIGURE BY RICHARD GOULDEN, WHICH REPRESENTS THE SPIRIT / OF YOUTH VICTORIOUS OVER DIFFICULTIES, HOLDING ALOFT THE / LIGHT HE HAS SAVED FROM EXTINCTION / (NAMES)’. Following the Second World War a further roll of honour for the 157 men and women who died during this conflict was installed; this is inscribed, ‘THESE ARE THE NAMES OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF MALVERN / WHO FELL IN THE / SECOND WORLD WAR 1939 – 1945 / (NAMES) / THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE’.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 27 July 2017.


War Memorials Online, accessed 27 July 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed April 2012 from
War Memorials Register, accessed April 2012 from
War Memorials Register, accessed April 2012 from
English Heritage, Listing Selection Guide: Commemorative Structures, (April 2011)

End of official listing