Royal Artillery Memorial

Royal Artillery Memorial by Charles Jagger, 1885-1934. 1925. Bronze and Granite. Near Hyde Park, London. Photograph by Jacqueline Banerjee may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.

The Royal Artillery Memorial , which bears the names of places where the Royal Artillery fought and died, is inscribed with the following words:

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.

Despite these traditional-sounding words, this post-World War I monument has none of the glamour of earlier war memorials. Instead of the usual conquering, triumphant heroes surmounting the monument, we encounter a large, brutal sculpture of a howitzer, showing quite clearly that these deadly weapons lay at the center of war and death (studies have shown that artillery causes the majority of war casualties). At the right side of the monument lies a decorously covered corpse, and on the rear a burly soldier rests with his arms outstretched in a pose that recalls the crucifixion. The restful poses of these bronzes contrast sharply with the energy of the bas relief on the right front of the memorial, but even here the emphasis falls not upon heroic conflict but the exhausting struggles with the heavy fieldpieces in the mud [GPL].

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Last modified August 27 2006