Memorials Of The Great War
War Memorial Of The Month - September 2017
Empire's Horses, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London
click on the images to enlarge
To protect and promote the spirit and substance of the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens OM
A small memorial in the Church of St Jude-on-the-Hill in Hampstead Garden Suburb (which is itself a Lutyens church) is perhaps the most unusual of all of the architect’s war memorials. The subject is the horses of the British Empire, 375,000 of whom died in the conflict. Rev Basil Bouchier (the first vicar of St Jude’s) had served as a forces’ chaplain and, having experienced the suffering of the animals at first hand, decided to provide a memorial to them.
The memorial uniquely combined the work of father and son - a bronze of a suitably stocky heavy horse by Charles Lutyens (who was also a noted painter of the animal) mounted upon a wooden plinth by Edwin. Unfortunately the sculpture was stolen in the 1960s but the plinth remains with, nearby, a new memorial in the form of a bronze wall sculpture by Rosemary Proctor above the plaque from the original Lutyens memorial.
Bouchier’s sentiments were realised on a grander scale with the Animals in War Memorial at Brook Gate, Park Lane, London by David Backhouse, which was unveiled in 2004
Location: Church of St Jude-on-the-Hill, Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, NW11 7AH