Nuneaton Boer War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1438689
Date first listed:
17-Oct-2016
Statutory Address:
Riversley Park, Coton Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV11 5TU

Map

Ordnance survey map of Nuneaton Boer War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address:
Riversley Park, Coton Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV11 5TU

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

County:
Warwickshire
District:
Nuneaton and Bedworth (District Authority)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SP3634191468

Summary

Boer War memorial, 1905.

Reasons for Designation

Nuneaton Boer War Memorial, which stands in Riversley Park, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifices it made in the Boer War; * Sculptural interest: as a monument to those who died in the Boer War, incorporating a statue of a soldier in contemporary uniform, it is a relative rarity.

History

Whilst the earliest outdoor war memorials in Britain were erected following the end of the Crimean War in 1855, the practice of erecting monuments to fallen soldiers did not become more widespread until the Second South African War (1899-1902), commonly called the Boer War. This was the first conflict in which Volunteer and Yeomanry units served overseas: some 54,000 British volunteers fought in the Boer War, which had a significant impact at home as more than 22,000 men died. The Imperial War Museum’s War Memorials Register records nearly 2,000 Boer War memorials, many of which are tablets and plaques put up to individual combatants, but include Regimental monuments, and memorials raised by towns and counties to their lost citizens.

Nuneaton’s Boer War Memorial was unveiled on 28 January 1905 by General Sir Redvers Buller VC, who had been Commander-in-Chief of the Army in South Africa: it is known as the Buller War Memorial. It commemorates 48 local servicemen who served in the Boer War but returned, and 5 who died in the conflict. The memorial was originally located on Bond Gate in the town centre but was moved in 1967 when the area was re-developed. The memorial had a sculpture of a soldier by Adolphus EL Rost, and cost £160.

The statue was stolen in 2006. As a security measure following the theft the stone plinth was moved to the sunken garden in front of the entrance to Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery (not listed). In 2008 the statue was replaced with an identical figure sculpted by Allan Heriot ARBS. The memorial was re-dedicated at a ceremony on 26 October 2008.

Adolphus Edwin Lane Rost (1867-1940) was a sculptor, medallist, and teacher. He exhibited busts at the Royal Academy in 1892 and 1893 and was advertising commemorative medals in the 1890s. By 1911 he was based in Oxford, teaching art: there he completed a mural at the Indian Institute in Broad Street. His works includes a bronze bust of Queen Victoria for the London Chest Hospital, Hackney.

Details

MATERIALS: Bronze sculpture, granite plinth.

DESCRIPTION: The Boer War Memorial in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, known as the Buller memorial, stands in Riversley Park in front of the Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery (not listed) and aligned with the town’s First World War memorial. The monument comprises a 1.65m tall bronze statue of an infantryman in Boer War campaign dress, his slouch hat tipped back and holding a rifle with fixed bayonet. The statue stands on the plain cornice of the rough-hewn pink granite plinth. The plinth is raised on a two-stepped base. 

The main plaque is bronze, fixed to the front face of the plinth. Headed by the royal arms and wreathed by laurels, cast in relief, the principal dedicatory inscription reads: ERECTED TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY/ OF THE MEN OF THE NUNEATON/ DISTRICT WHO AT THE CALL OF/ DUTY WENT FORTH TO FIGHT THEIR/ COUNTRY’S BATTLES IN/ SOUTH AFRICA DURING THE YEARS/ 1899 – 1902./ BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION/ THROUGH THE AGENCY OF THE MIDLAND/ COUNTIES TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER/ A.E.L.ROST SC. On two sides of the plinth are further metal plaques listing the commemorated names, organised by unit.

An inscribed metal plaque to the rear of the top step of the base reads: THIS STATUE ERECTED IN OCTOBER 2008/ IS A REPLICA OF THE ORIGINAL WHICH/ WAS STOLEN IN NOVEMBER 2006./ THE REPLACEMENT WAS COMMISSIONED AT/ THE BEHEST OF THE PEOPLE OF THE/ BOROUGH OF NUNEATON AND BEDWORTH./ SCULPTOR ALLAN BEATTIE HERIOT.



This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 17 January 2017.

Sources

Websites
Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, accessed 29/07/2016 from http://www.pmsa.org.uk/pmsa-database/6663/
University of Glasgow, Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, accessed 12/08/2016 from http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib4_1239283536
War Memorials Online, accessed 17 January 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/104860
War Memorials Register, accessed 17 January 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/19166

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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