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Reigate and Redhill War Memorial

A Grade II* Listed Building in Reigate, Surrey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.2374 / 51°14'14"N

Longitude: -0.182 / 0°10'55"W

OS Eastings: 527013

OS Northings: 150256

OS Grid: TQ270502

Mapcode National: GBR JJ1.8V5

Mapcode Global: VHGS9.S5N8

Entry Name: Reigate and Redhill War Memorial

Listing Date: 18 March 2011

Last Amended: 2 December 2016

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1242942

English Heritage Legacy ID: 512100

Location: Reigate and Banstead, Surrey, RH1

County: Surrey

District: Reigate and Banstead

Electoral Ward/Division: Reigate Central

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Reigate

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Redhill St Matthew

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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Summary

First World War memorial by Richard Goulden, unveiled 5 August 1923, with dates added for the Second World War.

Description

The memorial stands, facing north, at the conversion of three roads on a small grassed area, formerly a village green, known as Shaw’s Corner. The memorial consists of an allegorical bronze sculpture by Richard Reginald Goulden atop a square-set tapering granite plinth and two-stepped base.

A bronze figure is of a man carrying a small child in his right arm, whilst holding aloft a flaming torch with the left. The figure strides through thick thorny brambles that enwrap him. A square-set stone plinth bears the principal inscription at the top in applied bronze (altered post-Second World War), and other short bronze inscriptions trace around the other three sides of this upper part of the plinth.

The front of upper plinth originally said: IN MEMORY OF / MEN OF REIGATE / AND REDHILL WHO / FOUGHT AND GAVE / THEIR LIVES IN / THE GREAT WAR / 1914 – 1919, but the inscription was changed to: IN MEMORY OF / MEN AND WOMEN / OF THIS BOROUGH / WHO GAVE THEIR / LIVES IN THE / TWO WORLD WARS / 1914 – 1919 / 1939 – 1945.

On the second side of the plinth is inscribed: COURAGE; the third side reads: HONOUR and the fourth side reads: SELF-SACRIFICE.

The two-stepped stone base has a shaped upper step; it would be square but for sloping chamfered corner pieces. Set into the front face of this upper step is an interpretive bronze relief plaque which reads: THE BRONZE REPRESENTS THE TRIUMPHANT / STRUGGLE OF MANKIND AGAINST THE DIFFICULTIES / THAT BESET HIM IN THE PATH OF LIFE. / SHIELDING AND BEARING ONWARD THE CHILD, / THE FIGURE HOLDS ALOFT THE SYMBOL OF / SELF-SACRIFICE TO LIGHT THE WAY. / THE FLAMING CROSS IS USED TO INDICATE / THE SUFFERING ENDURED BY MEN IN THE WAR. / FLAMES CONSUME THE FLESH. / THE SPIRIT IS UNCONQUERABLE.


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 December 2016.

History

Alderman Malcomson, Chairman of the War Memorial Committee, called for meetings about a war memorial within a month of the Armistice. One was held in Reigate and another in Redhill. There was cooperation in the desire to erect a memorial to the men of the borough, but disagreement about the form it should take and the location. After strained discussions, Shaw’s Corner was decided upon. Shaw’s Corner is a small former village green, which falls half way between Reigate and Redhill and so was desirable from the point of view of commemorating the fallen of both places.

The Committee saw a number of designs and accepted the model presented by Richard Reginald Goulden (1876-1932). It is an allegorical figure, typical of Goulden’s work. It depicts a male struggling towards victory (represented by the flaming cross that he holds aloft) through the thorny brambles that twine around him. In his right arm he carries a small child, representing the coming generations whose future he has secured. It is similar to his early war memorial work on the Bank of England memorial, in which he depicts a similar figure, representing St Christopher, who holds aloft the small Christ child. It is also very similar to his war memorial at Kingston upon Thames, in which two small children shelter by the figure’s side as he cuts the brambles and kills a serpent with a sword. All of these are a development of a theme that runs through Goulden’s work, that of depicting ‘manhood defending’ in allegorical sculptures.

Goulden studied at the Royal College of Art in London. Much of his work was in fountains, statuary, relief panels and busts. He exhibited at the Royal Academy 1903-32. He was chosen to produce the figure of G F Watts for the Exhibition Road and Cromwell Roads façades of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Of his notable public memorials is the Mrs Ramsay MacDonald memorial seat at Lincoln’s Inn Fields c 1911. In 1914 he produced the statue of Andrew Carnegie. Goulden enlisted in 1914 and served on the Western Front with the Second London Division Royal Engineers, being promoted to the rank of Captain in 1916. He was invalided back to the UK and after serving in a staff post in London in 1918 was discharged in July 1919. Following the war, Goulden produced a number of sculptural war memorials, including prestigious commissions for the Bank of England (1921), Middlesex Guildhall and Hornsey County School (1922), as well as for Gateshead, (1922), Dover Maison Dieu House (1924), and Brightlingsea. His architectural as well as sculptural skills, in addition to his Royal Engineers training enabled him to design both the sculptures and pedestals of his memorials, as well as to survey and lay out sites ready for their erection.

The memorial was unveiled on Sunday 5 August 1923, by Admiral of the Fleet, Earl Beatty OM GCB GCVO DSO.

The memorial bears no names. These were collected and put onto a roll of honour at the Municipal Buildings.

Commemorative benches were put on the green behind the monument but these have since gone.

Reasons for Listing

Reigate and Redhill War Memorial, situated at Shaw’s Corner, Hatchlands Road, 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 made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Artistic interest: the bronze sculpture by Richard Goulden is a powerful and expressive piece of work by a notable artist who had served during the First World War;
* Sculptural interest: as an excellent example of the allegorical sculpture of Goulden, in this case a nude male warrior holding aloft a flaming cross while carrying a small child to safety through thorns that beset his path and enwrap him;
* Design: as an example of Goulden’s recurring theme of ‘manhood defending’ and as a relatively rare example of such being depicted allegorically in English war memorials.

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