Great Western Railway War Memorial
Sun, 2022-Feb-13 01:04 UTC
Length - 3:05
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The featured article for Sunday, 13 February 2022 is Great Western Railway War Memorial.
The Great Western Railway War Memorial is a First World War memorial by Charles Sargeant Jagger and Thomas S. Tait. It stands on platform 1 at London Paddington station, commemorating the 2,500 employees of the Great Western Railway (GWR) who were killed in the conflict. One-third of the GWR's workforce of almost 80,000 left to fight in the First World War, the company guaranteeing their jobs, and the GWR gave over its workshops for munitions manufacturing as well as devoting its network to transporting soldiers and military equipment. The company considered several schemes for a war memorial before approaching Jagger to design a statue. Some officials continued to push for an alternate design, to the point that Jagger threatened to resign. Jagger was working on several other war memorial commissions at the same time as the GWR's, including his most famous, the Royal Artillery Memorial.
The memorial consists of a bronze statue of a soldier, dressed in heavy winter clothing, reading a letter from home. The statue stands on platform 1 of Paddington station, on a polished granite plinth within a white stone surround. The names of the dead were recorded on a roll that was buried underneath the plinth. Viscount Churchill, the company chairman, unveiled the memorial on 11 November 1922, in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury, GWR officials, and more than 6,000 relatives of the dead. Such was the expected size of the crowd that the GWR built viewing stands across two platforms and the tracks in between them.
Jagger's statue was the model for a memorial to commemorate the British Army's postal service, unveiled in 1981, and for a scheme in 2014 encouraging people to write a letter as part of the First World War centenary. During the COVID-19 pandemic, local communities on the GWR network laid wreaths on trains that carried them to Paddington to be laid at the memorial for Armistice Day.
This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:04 UTC on Sunday, 13 February 2022.
For the full current version of the article, see Great Western Railway War Memorial on Wikipedia.
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