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La Délivrance

A Grade II* Listed Building in Barnet, London

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Latitude: 51.5909 / 51°35'27"N

Longitude: -0.2 / 0°11'59"W

OS Eastings: 524789

OS Northings: 189540

OS Grid: TQ247895

Mapcode National: GBR C3.G7X

Mapcode Global: VHGQK.H84R

Plus Code: 9C3XHRR2+92

Entry Name: La Délivrance

Listing Date: 7 April 1983

Last Amended: 18 February 2016

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1286880

English Heritage Legacy ID: 199031

Location: Finchley Church End, Barnet, London, N3

County: London

District: Barnet

Electoral Ward/Division: Finchley Church End

Built-Up Area: Barnet

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Mary Finchley

Church of England Diocese: London

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War statue, designed in 1914-1918 by Émile Guillaume, bestowed to Finchley Urban District Council by Viscount Rothermere and erected 1927.


War statue, designed in 1914-1918 by Émile Guillaume, donated to Finchley Urban District Council by Viscount Rothermere, and erected 1927.

MATERIALS: the statue is cast in bronze and stands on a pink polished granite pedestal.

DESCRIPTION: the figure is a female nude with upward stretched arms with a sword in her right hand. She stands on tiptoes upon a hemisphere which is mounted on a faceted drum pedestal and a square base. The hilt of the figure's sword and the front of the base of the statue are inscribed with the title of the piece. An information panel recounts: ‘LA DELIVERANCE / THIS STATUE BY EMILE GUILLAUME SYMBOLIZES / THE EMOTION INSPIRED AMONG THE ALLIED NATIONS / WHEN THE ARMIES OF BRITAIN AND FRANCE / DEFEATED THE INVADING GERMAN ARMIES / AT THE BATTLE OF THE MARNE SEPTEMBER 1914 / PRESENTED BY VISCOUNT ROTHERMERE’.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 20 July 2017.


'La Délivrance' is one of a number of casts of an allegorical statue by Émile Oscar Guillaume (1867-1942) in memory of an early success in the First World War. The sculpture was inspired by the allied victory in the Battle of Marne, which took place between 6 and 12 September 1914 and in which French and British forces thwarted the German drive on Paris. Guillaume was a well-known early C20 French sculptor who focussed particularly on memorials. Eleven casts of La Délivrance were presented to the cities of France and Belgium which had been occupied or destroyed in the First World War.

The statue was exhibited at the 1920 Salon, where Guillaume won a medal. It was purchased by newspaper proprietor Viscount Rothermere, who presented it to Finchley Urban District Council due to his long association with the area. It was, at Rothermere’s insistence, located in a prominent position where this new arterial road joins the Finchley Road – one of the main exits from London to the North, and in an area which at that time was less heavily built up than today. It was originally surrounded by iron rails.

The statue was unveiled in a ceremony in 1927 by Lloyd George, Britain’s Prime Minister during the First World War, and was attended by c.8,000 people. Rothermere was particularly insistent in his address to the crowd that the statue was not a war memorial in the ordinary sense of the word, but simply a beautiful monument. Lloyd George, in a reportedly powerful speech, stated: '‘gaze at this statue and you will see that its message and meaning represent a symbol of what victory in the war meant to humanity – deliverance. Now we should strive for deliverance, not by the sword, but from it.'’

An information panel was placed in front of the statue by the Finchley Society in September 2007.

Reasons for Listing

'La Délivrance', designed in 1914-1918 by Émile Guillaume and erected in 1927, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Historical: a very unusual war statue, which celebrates an early Allied victory in the First World War, and which forms a rare example of a French commemorative statue in England. It is also a rare monumental tribute to France's sacrifices;
* Sculptural: a singular nude figure in the Beaux Arts tradition by a French sculptor of note.

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