Woking War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1443492
Date first listed:
03-Jul-2017
Statutory Address:
Jubilee Square, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6GA

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
Jubilee Square, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6GA

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

County:
Surrey
District:
Woking (District Authority)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ0053458861

Summary

First World War memorial unveiled on 24 May 1922 with a bronze statue by the sculptor Francis William Doyle Jones.

Reasons for Designation

Woking War Memorial, situated in Jubilee Square, 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 community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest: * An impressive composition with an elegant and striking bronze figure and sandstone column with carved details; * A powerful and expressive allegorical sculpture by the noteworthy sculptor Francis William Doyle Jones, responsible for many war memorials and public monuments.

Group value: * For its relationship with the Grade II-listed Christ Church.

History

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, 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 Woking as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 552 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The war memorial was built by Messrs William Kirkpatrick with the bronze statue by the sculptor Francis William Doyle Jones. The Woking memorial was unveiled on 24 May 1922 by Field Marshal Sir William R Robertson BART GCB GCMG KCVO DSO.

Following the Second World War, an inscription dedicated to those who lost their lives in that war was added by the London Necropolis Company in 1950.

Originally sited in Woking’s Victoria Garden in 1922, the memorial was relocated to the Town Square (Jubilee Square) in 1975.

Francis William Doyle Jones (1873-1938) trained at the South Kensington School, under Edouard Lanteri. He made his début at the Royal Academy in 1903, with subjects relating to the recent Boer War. He created Boer War memorials (several of the following are listed) for Middlesbrough (1904), West Hartlepool (1905), Llanelli (1905), Gateshead (1905), and Penrith (1906). His numerous First World War memorials include those in Sutton Coldfield (Grade II), the ‘Men of Elland’ memorial in West Yorkshire (Grade II), Houghton-Le-Spring, Durham (Grade II), Kenilworth (Grade II) and Gillingham (Grade II). Two more memorials by Doyle Jones, at Gravesend, Kent, and the War Memorial in Rydings Park, Calderdale (both Grade II), also bear the same statue of Victory as the Woking memorial. His public monuments, apart from those put up in memory of journalists in Fleet Street, include Captain Webb (1910) at Dover, and Robert Burns (1914) at Galashiels.

Details

First World War memorial unveiled on 24 May 1922 with a bronze statue by the sculptor Francis William Doyle Jones.

MATERIALS: sandstone and bronze.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is located in the centre of Jubilee Square to the west of Christ Church (Grade II).

It comprises a bronze statue of a winged Victory, rewarding the worthy victors with glory and fame, symbolized by holding up a wreath of laurel leaves in her right hand, and holding a palm branch in her left hand. The figure stands upon a globe on a pedestal with carved foliate details. The base of the pedestal steps down in two stages and is set upon a tall, square column. The column is of sandstone and rises from a plinth on a two-stepped base. On the front (south-east) face of the column is an inverted Sword of Sacrifice carved in relief, which is suspended from a scroll draped over two carved badges with foliate designs to the centre. Beneath is the inscription which reads THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919/ REMEMBER WITH THANKSGIVING/ THE TRUE AND FAITHFUL MEN/ AND WOMEN OF THIS TOWN/ AND COUNTRYSIDE/ WHO IN THESE YEARS OF WAR/ WENT FORTH/ FOR/ GOD AND THE RIGHT./ THE NAMES OF THOSE/ WHO RETURNED NOT AGAIN/ ARE HERE INSCRIBED/ “THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE”. The other faces of the column carry the names.

On the front face, at the base of the column is a small, carved wreath. Inscribed on the plinth underneath is the Second World War dedication AND/ THE WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945.

To the rear (north-west) face, there is another inscription at the base of the column which reads DEDICATED IN VICTORIA GARDENS/ 1922/ REMOVED TO TOWN SQUARE/ 1975.

All lettering is incised and painted black.

Sources

Websites
Francis William Doyle Jones, accessed 18 December 2016 from http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib2_1204843722
War Memorials Online, accessed 12 May 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/158822/
War Memorials Register, accessed 18 December 2016 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/23679
Woking War Memorial, accessed 18 December 2016 from http://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/themes/subjects/military/woking_boroughs_first_world_war_memorials/woking_town_memorial/

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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