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Latitude: 52.4684 / 52°28'6"N
Longitude: -2.1094 / 2°6'33"W
OS Eastings: 392666
OS Northings: 285611
OS Grid: SO926856
Mapcode National: GBR 4JX.DJ
Mapcode Global: VH91J.D762
Entry Name: Quarry Bank Peace Memorial and Garden
Location: Dudley, DY5
Parish: Non Civil Parish
Locality: Quarry Bank and Dudley Wood
Traditional County: Staffordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands
Listing Date: 21 February 2017
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1442310
First World War Memorial in its own garden, unveiled 1931, with additions for later conflicts. Designed by Alfred Long, sculpture by George Wade.
The memorial is in a raised memorial garden in Stevens Park. The garden, entered up a rake of steps from the west side, with stone flagged paths, is enclosed by a low stone wall. That is stepped to accommodate the contour of the ground in this area of the park and has two raised sections to north and south. The memorial includes the figure of Christ sculpted by George Wade and two memorial walls to the rear.
The central monument, raised on a base of three steps, takes the form of a tall Portland stone pylon with a scotia moulding to the base. The more than life-sized figure of Christ stands on top of the pylon, facing west. The figure, robed and cloaked, has arms stretched forward and takes a step forward in welcome. Each face of the pylon is ornamented with a plain Latin cross carved in low relief with, to the front, the inscription: MY PEACE / I GIVE / UNTO YOU.
To the rear the main memorial wall is fronted by a low rake of three steps. The wall rises from the garden wall in three stages to the central section, each section slightly projecting from the previous one. To the extreme left, the first section bears the inscription: HE HATH MADE OF / ONE BLOOD ALL NATIONS. To the extreme right this is mirrored by: I SAW A NEW HEAVEN / AND A NEW EARTH. The principal dedicatory inscription, rendered in applied bronze letters, reads across the main sections of the wall: TO THE IMMORTAL HONOUR OF THE MEN OF QUARRY BANK WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR / THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL RECOGNITION BY THE RESIDENTS OF QUARRY BANK. Each of these main sections carries metal plaques below this dedication, recording the commemorated names.
To the top of the wall’s central section a wreath carved in relief encircles: IN / MEMORIAM, with below: THEIR NAME / LIVETH FOR EVERMORE. To either side, carved in relief on the front face of the flanking wall sections, are the dates 1914 (to left) and 1918 (to right).
The later memorial wall, to the right, also rises from the garden wall. This has one step to the front. The dedicatory inscription, also in applied bronze letters, reads: TO THE IMMORTAL MEMORY OF THE MEN OF QUARRY BANK / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR 1939 – 1945. Five plaques below record the commemorated names, with one small metal strip below the central plaque recording the most recent commemorated name.
The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across the country. 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.
At Quarry Bank, Dudley a memorial was raised as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 148 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial was designed by Alfred Long, with sculpture by George Wade. It was built by Messrs CR Davis and Sons. On 24 October 1931 the memorial was unveiled and dedicated by the Dean of Worcester.
The memorial was raised in Stevens Park, one of the gifts of Ernest Stevens, a local industrialist, to the district. Stevens contributed a major share of the cost of the memorial, and designated it as a Peace Memorial. Following the Second World War the names of 50 men who died in that conflict were added. Subsequently the name of a soldier who died in Afghanistan has been added.
Alfred Long (1857-?) was Assistant to David Smith and Son of Birmingham. He started his own architectural practice in 1890 in West Bromwich. George Wade RSBS (1853-1933) was active as a sculptor from 1888 to 1906, based in London. His other war memorials include the South Africa memorial, Norwich (1904; Grade II-listed) and the 79th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders (Sudan and Egypt) memorial, Inverness (1893; Category C-listed).
Quarry Bank Peace Memorial and Garden, in Stevens Park, is recommended for listing 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 has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Sculptural interest: the well-sculpted figure by noted artist George Wade is a depiction of Christ unusual for a war memorial and reflects the peaceful intent of Ernest Stevens, its sponsor;
* Architectural interest: the understated architectural elements are perfect foils to the sculptural and commemorative elements of the memorial.
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