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Twickenham War Memorial

A Grade II* Listed Building in South Twickenham, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4402 / 51°26'24"N

Longitude: -0.3317 / 0°19'54"W

OS Eastings: 516045

OS Northings: 172566

OS Grid: TQ160725

Mapcode National: GBR 6D.514

Mapcode Global: VHGR8.62G8

Entry Name: Twickenham War Memorial

Listing Date: 5 April 2017

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1445040

Location: Richmond upon Thames, London, TW1

County: London

District: Richmond upon Thames

Civil Parish: Non Civil Parish

Locality: South Twickenham

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Holy Trinity Twickenham

Church of England Diocese: London

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Summary

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

Description

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.

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.

Reasons for Listing

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.

Selected Sources

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