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The Liverpool Cotton Association War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Central, Liverpool

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Latitude: 53.4076 / 53°24'27"N

Longitude: -2.9924 / 2°59'32"W

OS Eastings: 334122

OS Northings: 390550

OS Grid: SJ341905

Mapcode National: GBR 72N.PF

Mapcode Global: WH877.0L9Z

Entry Name: The Liverpool Cotton Association War Memorial

Listing Date: 10 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1442272

Location: Liverpool, L2

County: Liverpool

Local Authority Ward: Central

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Liverpool

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Liverpool Our Lady and St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

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First World War memorial sculpture by Francis Derwent Wood, 1922. Re-located 2011.


The memorial stands on Exchange Flags, alongside Exchange Buildings (Grade II) and in close proximity to the Nelson Monument (Grade II*), the Town Hall (Grade I), and a number of other Grade II-listed features. It comprises the life-sized bronze statue of an infantryman, advancing. He is fully equipped, carrying a rifle and wearing his helmet, uniform and equipage rendered in detail.

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, 27 February 2017.


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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

One such memorial was raised by the Liverpool Cotton Association as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by those of its members who lost their lives in the First World War. Some 2,500 members had enlisted, of whom 358 who died are commemorated by the memorial. The sculpture of an infantryman, by Francis Derwent Wood (1871-1926), was erected on a tall stone pedestal to the front of the colonnade of the Liverpool Cotton Exchange, fronting Old Hall Street. It was unveiled on 5 April 1922 by Field Marshal Earl Haig, and dedicated by the Bishop of Liverpool, Dr FJ Chavasse. The commemorated names were listed on a large plaque in the colonnade.

The Old Hall Street façade of the Exchange building was demolished and the statue moved into the courtyard space of the re-modelled site. The soldier’s bayonet is lost. In December 2011 the International Cotton Association (formerly the Liverpool Cotton Association) relocated to new premises in Walker House on Exchange Flags, taking the statue and erecting it on Exchange Flags outside Exchange Buildings (Grade II-listed). Cotton had been traded on Exchange Flags since 1808. A new bronze plaque, installed on 8 November 2013, records the memorial dedication.

Francis Derwent Wood RA (1871-1926), a prominent exponent of the New Sculpture, was best-known for his mythological figural works and portrait sculpture, steeped in classical and Renaissance inspiration. During the First World War he volunteered in a London hospital, and from 1917 worked from his special clinic in Wandsworth, creating prosthetic masks for disfigured ex-servicemen to wear in order to disguise their wounds. He became Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art from 1918-1923. Among his other works is the Machine Gun Corps Memorial, London, which is Grade II*-listed.

Reasons for Listing

The Liverpool Cotton Association War Memorial, which stands beside Walker House, Exchange Flags, 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 important Liverpool institution, and the sacrifice it has made in the First World War;
* Sculptural interest: a detailed and sensitive life-sized bronze of a resolute infantryman by noted sculptor F Derwent Wood RA;
* Group value: with Exchange Buildings (Grade II), the Nelson Monument (Grade II*), the Town Hall (Grade I), and a number of other Grade II-listed features, and within the Liverpool - Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site.

Selected Sources

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