With the centenary of World War One in 2014 it seems appropriate to re-examine the influences that shaped the greatest outpouring of public works of art in the form of war memorials in our history. Although memorials were often allegorical, sanitising the brutality and carnage in favour of ideals of sacrifice, honour and duty, I have tried to select those scenes that depict the reality of war. There is hardly a town or village that has not erected a permanent memorial to the fallen. We may pass them so frequently that we give them little thought. Yet these memorials from the simple cross, to the ornate sculptures carry an enduring message of suffering.
Ashton Gardens in the town of St Anne’s on Sea, Lancashire, UK
Unveiled 12th October 1924
Sculptor Walter Marsden ( Military Cross )1882 – 1969
Son of a blacksmith from Church near Accrington, Lancashire
Marsden is said to have wanted to capture the constant nervous strain of trench warfare, and the ever present feeling of danger that produced so much mental agony.
“The Contorted Soldier”