The Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London is dedicated to casualties in the Royal Regiment of Artillery in WW1: “In proud remembrance of the forty-nine thousand and seventy-six of all ranks of the Royal Regiment of Artillery who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War 1914-1919.” That’s 49,076.
Designed by sculptor Charles Jagger and architect Lionel Pearson, the monument was dedicated in October 1925.
At 13 m long, 6 m wide and 9 m high (43 by 21 by 30 feet), it is truly monumental. The sides of the Portland stone pedestal show carved reliefs of battle scenes. On top is a stone replica of a howitzer. A bronze figure is on each side, including an artillery captain, a driver and a shell carrier.
To my mind, the most compelling image is the fourth figure, a recumbent dead soldier. “Here was a royal fellowship of death” from Shakespeare’s Henry V is carved on his plinth.
“Jagger had declined to embody any symbolism of peace and declined to idealise war, whose real violent nature he wished to convey.” Gavin Stamp
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