Figure of Victory. Alfred Bertram Pegram (1873-1941). Unveiled 1928. Bronze. Sir Ninian Comper's Welsh National War Memorial in Alexandra Gardens, Cathays Park, Cardiff. Right: Figure of Sailor Raising a Wreath. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

Pegram's figures for the Welsh National War Memorial were modelled from life: from among the crews of two battleships, he selected a young sailor who sat for him both in uniform and in the nude (see "Welsh National War Memorial"). His figures are impressive, although the central one symbolising Victory seems rather stiff compared with the figures representing the three armed forces, who stretch up as they hold their wreaths high above their heads.

Comper’s War Memorial. Right: Pegram’s Figure of Victory.

Pegram must have been an established figure in the art world by then. Even by 1906, he had had an address at 12a Park Village West (no. 12 had once been rented by the artist W. P. Frith); he later became a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors; in 1938-39 he would be serving on its council. At that time he had a studio at 1a Camden Lane, North London. He is likely to have been related to the better-known Henry Alfred Pegram (1862-1937), one of the New Sculptors, who was born and married in Camden, and who had also been commissioned for work in Cardiff, in his case for architectural sculpture on the new City Hall there. Earlier twentieth-century examples of the younger Pegram's work are figures representing "Serenitas in Rebus" and Art, and mythological subjects such as Endymion and Narcissus.

Photograph (2009) and text (2011) by the author. [This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


RBS: Modern British Sculpture. London: Country Life, 1938. Internet Archive. Web. 1 March 2011. (This features Pegram's "Serenitas in Rebus" and "Art," pp. 80 and 81.)

Koch, Alex., ed. Sculptures from Academy Architecture, 1904-08. London: Academy Architecture, 1908. Internet Archive. Web. 1 March 2011. (This features Pegram's "Endymion" and "Narcissus," pp.39 and 69)

"Welsh National War Memorial". Welsh Icons (a gazetteer for Wales). Web. 1 March 2011.

Created 24 May 2011

Last modified 26 February 2020