Object Details

Boer War Memorial

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General Information
Classification
Object Parts
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History
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:White Rock
Town:Hastings
Parish:Hastings
Council:Hastings Borough Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:TN34
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Road or Wayside
Access is:Public
Location note:On the Esplanade to the east of the Pier
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:127
Grid reference:L7
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

Company/Group :J.M. Whitehead & Sons Ltd.
     Role:Designer

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General Information

Installation date:05/1903
Unveiling date:06/05/1903
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Hastings Borough Council
Object listing:Not listed
Description:A column with a Corinthian capital which is surmounted by a ball finial on which sits a bronze flame. Crossed, gun metal flags, representing the Union Jack and the colours of the Royal Sussex Regiment are draped near the base of the column. The column rests on an octagonal base which, in turn, rests on a rectangular plinth. The plinth stands on two unpolished granite steps.
Inscription:On the south face, underneath a raised intertwined 'S' and an 'A', black painted carved letters (repainted in 1995):

ERECTED BY THE
INHABITANTS OF THIS BOROUGH
TO THE MEMORY OF
THEIR BRAVE FELLOW TOWNSMEN
WHO FELL IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR
1899 TO 1902


The names of the fallen are inscribed on the other three faces.

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Classification

Categories:Military, Roadside / Wayside, Free Standing, Commemorative
Object type1:Shaft
     Object subtype1:Obelisk
Object type2:War memorial
     Object subtype1:South Afican/Boer
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Flame and flags
     Material:Gun metal
Part 2:Two steps
     Material:Red Aberdeen granite (unpolished)
Part 3:Obelisk
     Material:Red Aberdeen granite (polished)
     Height (cm):540
     Width (cm):195
     Depth (cm):194

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Vandalism
     Condition 1: Structural damage
     More details:The holes in the granite appear to have been caused by vandalism.
Condition 2 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Cracks, splits, breaks, holes
     Condition 2: Broken or missing parts
     More details:A large piece of the step is broken off at the north west corner. There are some small holes in the granite of the base on the west face and some just underneath the flags on the east face.
Condition 3 of type:Surface
     Condition 1: Corrosion, Deterioration
     More details:Some wind damage to south face (facing sea) where granite appears to have lost some of its polish. Some corrosion evident to the bronze flags.
Date of on-site inspection:24/05/2007

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History

History:There were objections to the proposed original site for the memorial, opposite the Grand Hotel for various practical reasons and the present site was decided on afterwards. The memorial was raised without public subscription. It was unveiled by Major General Sir Leslie Rundle. The planned date for the unveiling was 29 April 1903 but Major Rundle had to postpone that date until 6 May 1903.
(Hastings and St. Leonards Advertiser. 12 March 1903, 26 March 1903, 9 April 1903, 30 April 1903, 7 May 1903, 14 May 1903)

The memorial was hit by lightning on 19 June 1974 causing so much damage that it had to be dismantled. It had been shifted forwards and sideways and was unstable. The lightning struck the copper flame at the top of the monument, causing it to fall making a hole in the pavement. A sear mark was created down the front of the memorial.
(Evening Argus. 20 June 1974)

The monument was eventually restored and placed back in its original position in May 1976. A rededication service was held on 5 September 1976 attended by two survivors from the Boer War, 93 year old Herbert Steele of Hastings and 95 year old Archibald Bowers of Sutton-at-Hone, Kent.
(Hastings and St. leonards Observer. 11 September 1976.)

A public meeting had been called on 5 June 1902 where it was decided to erect a monument and a committee was formed. The total amount raised was £335, £150 of which was a grant from the Council’s surplus on the Coronation celebrations. The obelisk cost £325. The newspaper states that the monument will, ‘...help to wipe out the stigma – already partially removed by the Queen Victoria memorial in Warrior Square – that Hastings is a statueless and monumentless town’.
The unveiling of the monument took place on Wednesday 6 May 1903. It was unveiled by General Sir Leslie Rundle, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., D.S.O. The weather was dull but fine and thousands of people gathered to witness the unveiling.
The base of the obelisk was adorned with bunches of primroses, violets, wallflowers placed by friends and relatives.
The General arrived at the train station and was met by the 40 strong Sussex Royal Engineers Band from Eastbourne. A 48 man strong Guard of Honour from the Sussex Imperial Yeomanry was also present. The General was met by the Mayor and a large number of local dignitaries. The procession and carriages containing the General and the dignitaries proceeded to the seafront; ‘Perhaps it was the weather – it was dull though fine – perhaps their enthusiasm had not had time to ferment; at any rate, the illustrious visitor was received in silence...’.
The memorial was draped in a ‘…big wrapper, most suitably of khaki colour and on the east side of it was a platform covered in red baize to accommodate the borough’s distinguished guest, the Mayor and other notabilities’. The Mayor and the Rev. E. Clowes opened proceedings and ‘All People That On Earth Do Dwell’ and ‘Now Thank We All Our God’ was sung. The General recounted the story of one brave soldier’s actions whose name appears on the memorial and then pulled the cord to unveil the structure.
Whilst the unveiling went to plan in the main, the newspaper stated that, ‘To an outsider perhaps it might have appeared that the people who witnessed the ceremony and the procession were wanting in enthusiasm, but experience has again and again proved that the townspeople of Hastings, though not given, as in more demonstrative places, to violent exhibitions of cheering, yet, as is shown by the support given to any patriotic object, feel deeply the importance of such events. And on Wednesday they must have been greatly moved by the sacred character of the ceremony’. The processions themselves had not been rehearsed beforehand and so consequently, ‘became detached and straggling’.
The Corporation Band under the conductorship of Mr. E. Stutely played a programme at the White Rock Baths in the morning. This included ‘special items’ such as: the ‘Soldiers’ Chorus’ from ‘Faust’, ‘A Life on the Ocean Wave’, ‘Sons of the Brave’ (Bidgood), ‘In Memoriam’ (Sullivan), ‘Reminiscences of England’ (F. Godfrey), the cornet solo, ‘A Life Beyond’, the ‘Pomp and Circumstance March’, ‘Guard of Honour’, Reminiscences of Scotland (F. Godfrey), ‘The Veteran’ (Williams) and a selection from ‘The Emerald Isle’.
After the unveiling ceremony, a lunch was held in the Queens Hotel, ‘A most recherché repast…’ as noted by the newspaper.
For the official programme, special poems had been composed by Forbes E. Winslow and Ida Millington.
(Peace Memorial: Supplement to the Hastings and St. Leonards Observer. Saturday 9 May 1903.)
Hard archive file:Yes

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Statues and Memorials in Hastings and St. Leonards: a report on condition and conservation options'
     Type:Archive
     Author:Dinsmore, Jennifer.
     Location:Hastings Borough Council
     Date:00/00/1997
     Page:12
     Publisher:Hastings Museum and Art Gallery


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Photographs





Date: 24/05/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 24/05/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 24/05/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 24/05/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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