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Bootle War Memorial, including flight of steps and flanking stone tablets

A Grade II* Listed Building in Bootle, Sefton

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4445 / 53°26'40"N

Longitude: -2.9883 / 2°59'17"W

OS Eastings: 334452

OS Northings: 394652

OS Grid: SJ344946

Mapcode National: GBR 737.L6

Mapcode Global: WH871.2P86

Entry Name: Bootle War Memorial, including flight of steps and flanking stone tablets

Listing Date: 17 January 1986

Last Amended: 23 March 2018

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1283634

English Heritage Legacy ID: 216422

Location: Sefton, L20

County: Sefton

Electoral Ward/Division: Linacre

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bootle

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Bootle Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

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Summary


First World War memorial, erected in 1922 by the County Borough of Bootle. Possibly designed by Hubert Bulmer with bronze sculptures by Hermon Cawthra. M Manenti were the founders and HA Clegg and Sons were the builders. Later additions for the Second World War.

Description

First World War memorial,1922,with later additions for the Second World War.

MATERIALS: Forest of Dean sandstone; bronze

DESCRIPTION: The memorial stands within a raised enclosure at the western edge of the public park. It is accessed by a flight of steps at the west side and is enclosed by low hedging. To the south is the Grade II-listed Statue of Edward VII.

The memorial is constructed in Forest of Dean sandstone and consists of a pedestal surmounting a plinth on a stepped platform crowned with a bronze statue of a mother and child. The plinth is a circular drum with a moulded cornice while the pedestal is triangular on plan with concave faces. The plinth carries twelve bronze panels framed by fluted pilasters, three panels breaking forward, with the names of the fallen in relief lettering, 1,007 in total. Around the base of the plinth an inscription reads, IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF OVER/ A THOUSAND MEN/ FROM BOOTLE WHO MADE THE/ SUPREME SACRIFICE/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918/ AND 1939 - 1945. Above, standing on the plinth within the three concave faces of the pedestal, are life-size bronze statues of an infantryman, an airman and a seaman. The soldier and seaman stand at ease, the airman looks skyward while pulling on his gloves. Dress, weaponry and equipment are depicted in great detail. The base-ends of the pedestal each carry a bronze laurel wreath. On the west side a stone plaque within an aedicular frame is inscribed, IN MEMORY/ OF THE MEN OF THE/ LIVERPOOL ESCORT FORCE/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ 1939- 1945/ “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE“/ SAITH THE LORD.

The steps to the west side of the memorial are flanked by low, broad ramped sandstone tablets inscribed with the names of those who died in the Second World War. The names continue on inset bronze panels with relief lettering, 540 in total.

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 which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Bootle as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Bootle war memorial was unveiled on 15 October 1922 by Major James Burnie. It was paid for partly by a grant of £2,000 from the Borough Council, the remainder made up from public subscription. The overall design of the memorial is attributed to the Borough arts director Hubert Bulmer whose name is inscribed on the memorial, but the extent of his input is debated. The sculptural work was undertaken by Joseph Hermon Cawthra and cast by founders M Manenti. The memorial was erected by HA Clegg and Sons, builders. It commemorates the 1,007 members of the local community who died in the First World War.

The memorial was re-dedicated on 16 April 1950 after the flight of steps was adapted to accommodate tablets bearing the names of the 540 people who died in the Second World War; those remembered include not just servicemen but civilians, air-raid wardens and Women's Voluntary Service members.

Restoration works were undertaken by Sefton Borough Council in 2016 following grant aid from the War Memorials Trust.

Joseph Hermon Cawthra (1886-1957) was born in Shipley, Yorkshire. He attended evening classes at the Salts Art School, Saltaire, becoming apprentice wood carver at the age of 15 after which he went on to study at the Leeds School of Art, winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools and setting up his own studio at Chelsea in 1919. After the First World War he received a number of commissions for war memorials including the bronze panels on Bury War Memorial, Lancashire (Grade II*-listed). Cawthra’s models of the infantryman and airman on the Bootle memorial were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1922, and his later career was largely based on the reputation of these sculptures. His best-known work is the statue of Robert Burns of 1936 at the Burns Mausoleum in Dumfries. He became a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 1937.

Reasons for Listing

Bootle War Memorial, which is situated within King's Gardens, 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.

Architectural interest:

* an imposing composition with bronze statuary of outstanding quality by the distinguished sculptor Hermon Cawthra; the figures of the infantryman and airman in particular helped establish Cawthra's reputation as a sculptor of note;
* it is relatively uncommon with First World War memorials to feature statuary relating to the air services; included on the memorial is a figure of an airman which is a demonstration of the growing importance of the use of aviation in combat in the First World War.

Group value:

* with the Grade II listed statue of Edward VII.


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