Detail View: SHIMMER: City War Memorial

City War Memorial
Creation Date: 
Image Date: 
20th century
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Sheffield, South Yorkshire
bronze , steel - stainless , paint
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Image ID: 
General view looking downwards from the roof of Cole Bros.

Location: Barkers Pool, between the City Hall and Cole Bros. This site was probably chosen because the City Hall was built at the same time allowing more scope for landscaping the site. The frontage of the City Hall was in fact reduced by thirty feet to allow for greater access around Barkers Pool, which was only closed to traffic and pedestrianised in 1989. (A-Z p5 4D)

Description: Four bronze figures of servicemen stand above panels showing the emblems of local regiments, Sheffield's coat of arms and the Navy, Merchant Navy, Army and Air Force. The four figures are of ordinary soldiers with their heads bowed and rifles reversed; two are clean shaven , two have moustaches. They are slightly less than life size. Their backs are to a central column which becomes a flagpole above their heads. The figures were designed by G. Alexander, the memorial by C. Carus-Wilson. The bronze base of the memorial is round, seventeen feet six high and six foot six inches in diameter. The floral (acanthus) motif is a quotation from the City Hall's facade.

Commission: Sheffield War Memorial Committee, Sub-committee of City Council. The money required [£5,345] came from the 'Lord Mayor's Appeal', which raised money in several different ways:
1. House to house collections
2. The 44 Sheffield theatres, music halls and cinemas held special fund-raising performances.
3. Shopkeepers and schools were asked to raise funds through collection boxes, as were University students and lecturers, although Churches and chapels were exempt.
4. Ratepayers were asked to make a contribution
5. A 'Flag Day' was held
6. The British War Graves Association made a contribution.
On 7th July 1923 the Sheffield War Memorial committee proposed a competition to select the most suitable design for a war memorial to represent the City of Sheffield. E. Vincent Harris, the architect for the City Hall, was the judge and entries restricted to architects and sculptors working, or with practices, in Sheffield. There were 34 entrants and the top three designs were announced on 7th March 1924:
1st: George Alexander (sculptor) and Charles Carus-Wilson (architect)
2nd: J.C.P. Toothill of Holmes and Sons, St James Street, Sheffield
3rd: Francis Jahn and Roy Smith (sculptors) of Sheffield College of Art.

The bronze casting was by the Parlanti Foundry of West Kensington, London. The memorial was unveiled on 28th October 1925, by Lt-Gen. Sir Charles H. Harington, G.B.E., K.C.B., D.S.O.

Comment: This monument is seen as Sheffield's Cenotaph. The mast is the same height as the adjoining City Hall, and also incidentally is set 20 feet into the ground to stabilise it. It was made in one length of mild steel in Hull by Earle's Shipbuilders and Engineers and transported by rail to the Wicker in Sheffield. Its journey from there to Barkers Pool was only achieved after considerable difficulty in manoeuvring through the streets. The original design included four female figures between the soldiers but this was amended in order to save money.

© Sheffield Hallam University
For educational use only. This image may be used in print or digital materials provided that full acknowledgment is given, expressed as follows: " © < insert details from the 'Rights' field >. Photographed by < insert details from the 'Photographed by' field >."
Image Storage Location:
Related Information: 
Public art in Sheffield. For more information see < >.
Photographed by: 
Dave Ball
CARUS-WILSON, Charles Denny
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Creator Dates - Born: 
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British - Scottish.
Subject Heading: 
Monuments -- England -- Sheffield
Subject Heading: 
War memorials -- England -- Sheffield
Subject Heading: 
Bronze sculpture
Subject Heading: 
Public sculpture -- England -- Sheffield
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