West Downs School War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1463504
Date first listed:
09-Apr-2019
Statutory Address:
Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Newgrounds Lane, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BS

Map

Ordnance survey map of West Downs School War Memorial
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

Statutory Address:
Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Newgrounds Lane, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BS

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

County:
Gloucestershire
District:
Stroud (District Authority)
Parish:
Slimbridge
National Grid Reference:
SO7193904573

Summary

A First World War memorial with a sculpture by Lady Kathleen Scott, built after 1919; altered after the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

West Downs School War Memorial is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

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;

* as a specific commemoration of the loss of former pupils from West Downs School in the First World War.

Architectural interest: * for its dignified design and the emotive bronze sculpture by the artist Kathleen Scott.

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. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at West Downs School as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by former pupils who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial was originally situated at West Downs School, an independent preparatory in Winchester, Hampshire. The statue was sculpted by Lady Kathleen Scott, whose son Sir Peter Scott attended the school, modelled on the bronze-caster Fiorini’s son. Following the closure of the school in the 1980s the memorial was relocated to the Slimbridge Wetlands Centre, the headquarters of the Severn Wildfowl Trust (now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) which had been founded by Sir Peter Scott.

Kathleen Scott (1878-1947) was born Agnes Kathleen Bruce in Nottinghamshire, and attended the Slade School of Art. In 1908 she married Captain Robert Falcon Scott (‘Scott of the Antarctic’) and was widowed in 1912. In 1922 she married Edward Hilton Young, becoming Baroness Kennet when he was granted a baronetcy in 1935. She provided the sculpture for a number of war memorials, including that to Captain JMT Richie at St Peter and St Paul Church in Medmenham (Buckinghamshire) and Huntingdon War Memorial (Grade II listed). There is another cast of the statue at Oundle School, Northamptonshire.

Details

A First World War memorial with a sculpture by Lady Kathleen Scott, built after 1919; altered after the Second World War.

MATERIALS Bronze, Portland stone.

DESCRIPTION West Downs School War Memorial is located within the grounds of Slimbridge Wetlands Centre.

It takes the form of a bronze statue of a nude boy, with his right arm outstretched, on a tall, square, Portland stone pedestal with a moulded top. The front face of the pedestal bears the inscription HERE AM I / SEND ME / 1914 – 1918 / followed by the 38 names of the former pupils of West Downs School who fell in the First World War. The remaining faces of the pedestal record the 81 names of the fallen from the Second World War under the inscription 1939 – 1945.

Sources

Websites
Hampshire War Memorials – West Downs School , accessed 07 March 2019 from http://hampshirewarmemorials.com/HantsStart1.htm
Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register – West Downs School , accessed 07 March 2019 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/20740
War Memorials Online – West Downs School , accessed 07 March 2019 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/231997/
West Downs School – The Tindall Era: Peter Scott, The Truth about ‘Here Am I; Send Me’, accessed 07 March 2019 from https://www.westdowns.com/scott1.htm

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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