Twickenham War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II*
List Entry Number:
1445040
Date first listed:
05-Apr-2017
Statutory Address:
Twickenham War Memorial, Radnor Gardens, Cross Deep, Twickenham, London, TW1 4QG

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
Twickenham War Memorial, Radnor Gardens, Cross Deep, Twickenham, London, TW1 4QG

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

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
Richmond upon Thames (London Borough)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ1604572566

Summary

War memorial. Erected 1921 by Twickenham Urban District. Bronze sculpture by Mortimer Brown. Singer & Sons founders.

Reasons for Designation

Twickenham War Memorial, erected in 1921 with sculpture by Mortimer Brown, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Sculptural interest: a highly distinctive war memorial by the notable British sculptor Mortimer John Brown, with bronze figural sculpture and reliefs of exceptional merit;

* Rarity: for the depiction of women’s voluntary services, and for its depiction of a joyful returning soldier;

* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20.

History

The aftermath of the First World War saw an unprecedented wave of public commemoration with tens of thousands of memorials erected across the country.

Twickenham War Memorial, remembering those from the urban district who died in the First World War, was unveiled on 2 November 1921 by Field Marshal Sir William Robertson.

The sculptor Mortimer John Brown (1874-1966) was born in Fenton, Staffordshire, the son of a brewer and potter's agent. He was educated at Hanley School of Art and the National Art Training School (Royal College of Art) under Édouard Lantéri. From the mid-1890s he studied at the Royal Academy Schools, winning several prizes including the Landseer Scholarship and British Institution Scholarship fund in 1898, travelling to Italy and Greece to complete his studies. Brown initially worked as an assistant to Hamo Thornycroft. His career was mainly focused upon classical and religious subjects.

Details

War memorial. Erected 1921 by Twickenham Urban District. Bronze sculpture by Mortimer Brown. Singer & Sons founders.

MATERIALS: Bronze statue and plaques on Portland Stone pedestal.

DESCRIPTION: The war memorial stands in Radnor Gardens, the park created in 1903 from the grounds of Radnor House and other riverside villas.

The memorial comprises a square Portland stone pedestal on a moulded base and plinth, surmounted by a life size bronze figure of a soldier returning from war. The soldier is smiling and waving his cap in his right hand and holding his gun by his side in his left, his redundant helmet on the ground beside his feet. Dress and weaponry are depicted in detail. It is one of a small number of First World War memorials which portray the joyful returning soldier, in contrast to the more conventional attitudes of watchfulness or mourning; another notable example is ‘The Homecoming’ at Cambridge by R Tait McKenzie (listed Grade II).

On the south side is a bronze relief plaque of the Borough arms. Beneath is the inscription: 1914 – 1918 / TO THE GLORIOUS MEMORY / OF THE MEN OF TWICKENHAM / WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR / THEIR NAME LIVETH EVERMORE / AND TO THOSE / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / IN THE WAR OF / 1939 – 1945.

The other three faces have bronze reliefs representing the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and the volunteer services. They portray, respectively, three airmen in hats and goggles, the front pair shaking hands, an aircraft propeller and wheel visible to the right; two naval officers on the bridge of a ship, one looking through binoculars, the other pointing into the distance, the head of a seaman in the foreground; and a nurse and a woman in Voluntary Aid Detachment uniform, a vehicle in the background - illustrating the VADs’ role as mechanics and drivers. The naval panel is a replica of the original, which was stolen in 2011, by Leander Architectural. The memorial was restored by Richmond Borough Council in 2012.

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, 5 June 2017.

Sources

Books and journals
Boorman, D, A Century of Remembrance: One Hundred Outstanding British War Memorials, (2005), 44-45
Websites
War Memorials Online, accessed 5 June 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/111215
War Memorials Register, accessed 5 June 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/12522

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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