Object Details

War Memorial

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Author: Peter Seddon
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Chapel Road
Town:Worthing
Parish:Worthing
Council:Adur District Council
County:West Sussex
Postcode:BN11
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Road or Wayside
Access is:Public
Location note:Corner of Chapel Road with Stoke Abbott Road
In the AZ book:West Sussex
Page:171
Grid reference:H2
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : Francis Tate
     Role:Stonemason
Company/Group :J.M. Whitehead & Sons Ltd.

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General Information

Commissioned by: Public subscription raised by the Worthing Gazette
Unveiling date:11/04/1921
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Worthing Borough Council
Object listing:Not listed
Description:Statue of a soldier, right arm raised holding a helmet; left hand holding rifle, atop an architectural plinth inscribed with names of the fallen.
Inscription:On the back:

THIS MEMORIAL
WAS ERECTED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION
RAISED THROUGH THE WORTHING GAZETTE
IT WAS UNVEILED BY
FIELD MARSHALL SIR WILLIAM ROBERTSON BART.. G.C.B.
ON 11TH APRIL 1921

On the front:

OUR GLORIOUS DEAD
1914-1918
DUTY NOBLY DONE

On the right face:

OTHER CONFLICTS
STANFORD R.U.
LOVETT G.K.
PEARCE J.E.

At the bottom of the plinth:

ALSO IN MEMORY OF
THOSE WHO FELL IN THE WAR
1939-1945

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Classification

Categories:Military, Commemorative, Free Standing, Sculptural
Object type1:Statue
Object type2:War memorial
     Object subtype1:WWI and WWII
Subject type1:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Full-length

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Object Parts

Part 1:Plinth
     Material:Portland stone faced with marble
     Height (cm):457
Part 2:Statue
     Material:Bronze
     Height (cm):182

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Date of on-site inspection:05/07/2006

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History

History:Unveiled by Field Marshal Sir William Roberts. Names of the dead from the Second World War were added to the base later on.
('Front-line Sussex' p37)

A SHILLING FOR THE WAR MEMORIAL
In 1919 Worthing Gazette (now Worthing Herald) launched the Worthing War Memorial Gazette Shilling Fund and registered as an official War Charity in the October. The paper decided to spearhead the campaign for a memorial after the Council’s scheme was abandoned. The Fund Raising Committee’s Honorary Secretary was Frederick Adsett, one of the newspaper’s directors. He worked tirelessly to raise funds for the memorial and kept up pressure on the council to record the names of all the fallen men who had lived in Worthing. In July 1920, the Town Clerk granted him permission to display the names of the dead on a noticeboard in the Town Hall for a two week period. It had taken at least two different committees to agree!

On 3 June 1920 the Town Clerk informed Adsett that the council planned to purchase Tudor Lodge as temporary council offices. Formerly Tudor Cottage, it had been built around 1840 by Charles Hide for a Mr Vernon. The council wanted to erect the memorial in the garden at the corner of Stoke Abbott Road and Chapel Road. Hopefully subscribers to the shilling fund warmly approved of this plan as several letters to the Gazette’s editor had expressed a desire to see the memorial placed in front of the museum in Chapel Road. One local business man, Charles Thomas, wrote: ‘…Let every name be shown in endurable metal or stone so that the children’s children of those who have fallen may have a memorial of the sacrifice of their fore fathers always before them…’ There was wide spread concern that the memorial would just be a token ornamental feature and several of the letter writers made it very clear that they would ask for their money back if their wish to have every name listed on the memorial was ignored. A few of them expressed an interest in Worthing having a small-scale replica of London’s Cenotaph which was unveiled in November 1920. The town’s MP Earl Winterton sent in 100/- ‘…my donation would be larger were it not for the fact that I have, as you know, a very large constituency and have many calls upon my purse for donations to war memorials…’ By November 1920 the Gazette had raised sufficient funds and was able to instruct the council to proceed with laying the memorial’s foundation.

After much haggling, letter writing and trips up to London, the War Memorial Committee commissioned Whitehead and Sons Ltd to make a bronze figure for £550 and four bronze wreaths. The figure is a life-size bronze figure representing Victory as a British soldier, in full gear. No individual artist can be credited with the design of the figure. Adsett did write and enquire but the company made it very clear that the artists in the Design Department worked as a collective and that probably more than one was responsible. Initially the company quoted for the whole memorial but after much debate the committee thought it prudent to have the pedestal supplied locally. Made of Portland stone the engraved pedestal was purchased for £400 from Francis Tate a ‘Monumental Mason and Sculptor’ of Charrara Marble Works in North Street. It was several months before the figure could be made and delivered to Worthing. Some of the correspondence from Whitehead’s refers to foundries all over Britain working flat out making war memorials and that only three of them specialised in making figures.

The unveiling of the war memorial was planned for 11 April 1921. Organised in a matter of weeks it wasn’t without drama. Neighbouring Chichester was to have its memorial unveiled by Field Marshall Sir William Robertson. The Gazette’s War Memorial Committee thought it only right that ‘…some equally distinguished soldier could be induced to honour Worthing in such a manner…’ especially as Worthing’s South African War Memorial in Steyne Gardens had been unveiled by General Sir Leslie Rundle and that had been a much smaller conflict. Adsett wrote to Earl Winterton for help in finding someone suitable, he replied that he’d be very ‘…pleased to write to any distinguished General of my acquaintance, but I do not know many…’. Eventually he asked Robertson to unveil Worthing’s memorial as well as Chichester’s.

Then there was the matter of organising the ceremony. One issue under discussion was whether there would be a military Guard of Honour present. Robertson, according to Winterton, had no intention of turning up in his uniform if there wasn’t one, as he much preferred wearing plain clothes. The honour fell to Horsham based 4th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. Winterton urged Adsett to find ‘…two competent Trumpeters or Buglers…’ to sound the Last Post as ‘…nothing is more deplorable than when the trumpeter or bugler is inefficient…’. The Regular Artillery Battery at Brighton provided two ‘boys'. After the ceremony their Lieutenant asked for 6/10d to cover their expenses ‘…I trust that the performance and the behaviour of the boys were satisfactory…’ he wrote.

The timetable for the unveiling was finalised by Robertson and Winterton. It was decided that it would commence at 3pm so that Robertson would be able to catch the 4.16 train back to London. As late as April 6 there were doubts whether it would take place five days later as a coal strike was planned for April 11, and there were fears that railway and transport workers would also strike, making it impossible for Robertson to travel down from London.

In the end the unveiling went without a hitch and was attended by at least 7,000 people including many local trades’ people who had closed especially for the ceremony. The memorial was accepted by the Mayor of Worthing, Alderman Mrs Chapman, J.P. The memorial was moved slightly in 1933 when the New Town Hall was built on the site of Tudor Lodge. After paying Tate a further £87. 18s. 11d and covering administrative costs of £10 2s 11d the fund was left with £16 8s 2d which was handed over to Worthing Hospital for its Maternity Extension fund regarded by many local residents as another memorial to commemorate the war.
(http://www.worthing.gov.uk/A-ZofServices/ServicesN-Z/WarMemorial/ 11/10/2007)

Other sources:
Potter, Susan and Wilcox, Tim (eds) Public Art in West Sussex, West Sussex County Council, 1995, p.22. ‘ This popular figure by Whitehead was also ordered by Stafford, Ebbw Vale, Chertsey, Truro and Edward Street Post Office in London,’
‘The Unveiling of the War Memorial’, Worthing Gazette April 6th 1921
‘Unveiled by a Distinguished Soldier’, Worthing Gazette April 13th 1921
Hard archive file:Yes

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Front-line Sussex: Napoleon Bonaparte to the Cold War'
     Type:Book
     Author:Longstaff-Tyrrell, Peter.
     Date:00/00/2000
     Page:37
     Publisher:Sutton Publishing Ltd. Stroud.


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Photographs





Date: 05/07/2007
Author: Peter Seddon
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Postcard




Date: 05/07/2007
Author: Peter Seddon
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 05/07/2007
Author: Peter Seddon
Copyright: Creative Commons

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