Royal Artillery Memorial
The Royal Artillery Memorial is a large stone memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London dedicated to casualties in the British Royal Regiment of Artillery in World War I. Designed by Lionel Pearson with statues by Charles Sargeant Jagger (1885”“1934) and dedicated in 1925, the memorial is in the form of a giant sculpture of a BL 9.2 inch Mk I howitzer upon a large plinth of Portland stone, with stone reliefs depicting the reality of war. There are four bronze figures of artillery soldiers on the memorial as part of scenes reflecting the reality of war.

Realist style
Prior to the First World War, military memorials usually celebrated the achievement of military leaders (for example, Nelson's Column or the Duke of York Column). The losses of the 1914-18 war marked a turning point in memorial design, as the sacrifice of ordinary individuals began to be commemorated. The style of memorials at the time had usually depicted symbolic figures such as a quadriga or a Victory figure, but as war memorials began to commemorate the ordinary soldier, the fashion changed towards depicting actual soldiers. Jagger's Royal Artillery Monument is unusual in that the sculptor took a realist approach to his figures, going against the idealised style of other sculptures of the time. The three upright bronze figures stand at ease, rather than to attention; one artilleryman even leans back against the parapet, his cape hanging over his outstretched arms, suggesting an attitude of exhaustion or contemplation . One of the artilleryman reads letters from home, a similar subject to Jagger's Great Western Railway War Memorial in Paddington Station. Jagger's memorial is also noteworthy in that it depicts the body of a dead soldier. During the war years, a government edict had banned images of dead British soldiers; Jagger defied this censorship by including the body of an artilleryman, laid out and shrouded by a greatcoat, his helmet placed on his chest . Underneath is are inscribed the words Here was a Royal fellowship of Death from Shakespeare's Henry V. When questioned about his lifelike depictions, Jagger remarked to the Daily Express newspaper that the "experience in the trenches persuaded me of the necessity for frankness and truth" . In 1949, three bronze panels (by Darcy Braddell) were added in memory of the 30,000 of the Royal Artillery killed in World War II. It is also purported that the barrel of the sculpted howitzer points towards the Somme region of France. The memorial's main inscription reads:

In fiction
The Memorial is a prominent setting in Charlie Fletcher's children's book about unLondon Stoneheart .

“ 'In Proud Remembrance Of The Forty-Nine Thousand & 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' ” "Main inscription, east face


2 photos

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated 9 media and uploaded a media file
    rrdx royal artillery monument corner view
    about 6 years ago via
  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via