|For servicemen from Rochdale killed in the First World War|
|Location|| Coordinates: |
|Designed by||Sir Edwin Lutyens|
|Official name||Rochdale Cenotaph|
|Designated||12 February 1985|
Rochdale Cenotaph is a First World War memorial on the Esplanade in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, in the north west of England. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is one of seven memorials in England based on his Cenotaph in London and one of his more ambitious designs. The memorial was unveiled in 1922 and consists of a raised platform bearing Lutyens' characteristic Stone of Remembrance next to a 10-metre (33 ft) pylon topped by an effigy of a recumbent soldier. A set of painted stone flags surrounds the pylon.
A public meeting in February 1919 established a consensus to create a monument and a fund for the families of wounded servicemen. The meeting agreed to commission Lutyens to design the monument. His design for a bridge over the River Roch was abandoned after a local dignitary purchased a plot of land adjacent to Rochdale Town Hall and donated it for the site of the memorial. Lutyens revised his design, and Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, unveiled the memorial on 26 November 1922. It is a Grade I listed structure, having been upgraded in 2015 when Lutyens' war memorials were declared a national collection.
In the aftermath of the First World War and its unprecedented casualties, thousands of war memorials were built across Britain. Almost all towns and cities erected some form of memorial to commemorate their fallen. The mayor of Rochdale called a public meeting on 10 February 1919, three months after the armistice, to discuss proposals for the town's commemorations. Consensus was that the town should have a monument and a fund to provide for wounded servicemen, their families, and the families of the 2,000 war dead from Rochdale. Public subscription raised £29,443 10s, covering the £12,611 cost of the memorial.
The public meeting in February 1919 agreed to appoint Sir Edwin Lutyens as architect for the project. He was one of the most prominent designers of war memorials in Britain, described by Historic England as "the leading English architect of his generation".Before the war, Lutyens established a reputation designing country houses for wealthy patrons, but the war had a profound effect on him. From 1917 onwards, he dedicated much of his time to memorialising the casualties. He went on to design The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, which became the focus for the national Remembrance Sunday commemorations and subsequently the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme in France and many other memorials in Britain and the Commonwealth.
Lutyens proposed a memorial bridge crossing the River Roch in front of Rochdale Town Hall. At that time the river flowed openly through the town centre but has since been culverted. On either side of the bridge would have been recumbent effigies of a soldier lying on a bier and a Stone of Remembrance on the bridge. The plan was abandoned when Alderman William Cunliffe, a former mayor, bought a dilapidated 18th-century house (known as "the Manor House" or "the Orchard") on the opposite side of the river and donated the site for the war memorial. The site had particular poignancy as the building had been used as a recruiting station during the war. Lutyens' new design involved demolishing the Manor House to make way for a cenotaph and a Stone of Remembrance. Lutyens designed the stone for use in Imperial War Graves Commission cemeteries but it also features in several of his war memorials. Rochdale's cenotaph is among seven others by Lutyens in England based on the one on Whitehall, and is among the most ambitious of his designs to come to fruition.
The memorial was constructed by Hobson Limited of Nottingham. While many First World War memorials feature sculpture or overt religious symbolism, Rochdale's, like many of Lutyens' memorials, uses abstract and ecumenical shapes inspired by classical architecture. 10-metre (33 ft) pylon and a Stone of Remembrance formed from light grey Cornish granite which are raised on a platform (stylobate) of three steps. The cenotaph is raised on six steps on the platform, and rises in diminishing tiers of broadly rectangular cross section, with its long axis oriented southeast to northwest. On the plain first tier are four carved and painted stone flags with gilt bronze poles, two to either side: the Union Flag and the White Ensign on the southwest side, and the Royal Air Force Ensign and the Red Ensign on the northeast. The flags flank a second, smaller, tier which has a semi-column at either end and which culminates in a smaller plinth supporting a catafalque. At the top is a sculpture of a recumbent soldier draped with his coat. The design for the pylon is based on Lutyens' Midland Railway War Memorial, unveiled in Derby in 1921. Painted stone flags are a recurring feature in Lutyens' war memorial designs. He first proposed them for Whitehall's Cenotaph, where they were rejected in favour of fabric flags, but they appear on several of his other memorials including Northampton War Memorial and Leicester's Arch of Remembrance.It comprises two elements: a
The memorial is not strictly a cenotaph as the sculpture at the top is a human figure rather than an empty tomb. 1914–1919 / 1939–1945; TO THE MEMORY OF THE MEN OF ROCHDALE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR; MCMXIV + MCMXIX / ET / MCMXXXIX + MCMXLV and THEY WERE A WALL UNTO US BOTH BY NIGHT AND BY DAY—a quotation from the First Book of Samuel, chapter 25, verse 16, selected from suggestions made by readers of the Rochdale Observer.By raising the figure above the ground on the pylon, Lutyens gives him anonymity, representing the fallen while allowing onlookers to impart their own emotions onto the memorial. By placing the figure at the top of the pylon, Lutyens also draws attention to the detail at the top of the pylon, connecting the beauty of the design to the memory of the fallen soldier. To either side of the plinth, above the flags, carved wreaths surround Rochdale's coat of arms. The central part of the structure is inscribed in gold lettering:
The Stone of Remembrance lies to the southeast between the cenotaph and the town hall, raised above the platform by three steps. It is inscribed: THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE. Other inscriptions commemorating the dead of the Second World War were added later, including a bronze plaque reading TO ALL THOSE WHO DIED / IN THE / SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY. The use of a cenotaph with a Stone of Remembrance at its feet is reminiscent of Southampton Cenotaph, Lutyens' first to come to fruition. The surrounding memorial gardens are dedicated to the members of the Lancashire Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and serve as Rochdale's memorial to the Second World War.
Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, unveiled the memorial on Sunday 26 November 1922 and the Archdeacon of Rochdale gave a dedication. Derby was a descendant of a Lancashire family involved in local politics for generations. He served in various public offices during the First World War, including Director General of Recruiting and Secretary of State for War, before being appointed Britain's ambassador to France at the end of the war. Two years after unveiling the Rochdale memorial, Lord Derby presided over the unveiling of Manchester Cenotaph, another Lutyens design.
Rochdale Cenotaph was designated as a Grade II listed building on 12 February 1985, the designation noting the cenotaph's visual relationship with Rochdale Town Hall, Rochdale Post Office, and a set of lamp posts (each of which are listed in their own right). The status offers legal protection from demolition or modification; Grade II is applied to structures of "special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them", about 92 per cent of listed buildings. In November 2015, as part of commemorations for the centenary of the First World War, Lutyens' war memorials were recognised as a "national collection". All his free-standing memorials in England were listed or had their listing status reviewed and National Heritage List for England entries were updated and expanded. As a result, Rochdale Cenotaph was upgraded to Grade I, which is applied to around 2.5% of listed buildings, those of "the greatest historic interest".
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The Midland Railway War Memorial is a First World War memorial in Derby in the East Midlands of England, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled in 1921. It commemorates employees of the Midland Railway who left to fight in the First World War and who died while serving in the armed forces. The Midland was one of the largest railway companies in Britain in the early 20th century, and the largest employer in Derby, where it had its headquarters. Around a third of the company's workforce left to fight and 2,833 were killed.
The Civil Service Rifles War Memorial is a First World War memorial located on the riverside terrace at Somerset House in central London, England. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled in 1924, the memorial commemorates the 1,240 members of the Prince of Wales' Own Civil Service Rifles regiment who were killed in the First World War. They were Territorial Force reservists, drawn largely from the British Civil Service, which at that time had many staff based at Somerset House.
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Spalding War Memorial is a First World War memorial in the gardens of Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in eastern England. It was designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. The proposal for a memorial to Spalding's war dead originated in January 1918 with Barbara McLaren, whose husband and the town's Member of Parliament, Francis McLaren, was killed in a flying accident during the war. She engaged Lutyens via a family connection and the architect produced a plan for a grand memorial cloister surrounding a circular pond, in the middle of which would be a cross. The memorial was to be built in the formal gardens of Ayscoughfee Hall, which was owned by the local district council. When McLaren approached the council with her proposal, it generated considerable debate within the community and several alternative schemes were suggested. After a public meeting and a vote in 1919, a reduced-scale version of McLaren's proposal emerged as the preferred option, in conjunction with a clock on the town's corn exchange building.
Northampton War Memorial, officially the Town and County War Memorial, is a First World War memorial on Wood Hill in the centre of Northampton, the county town of Northamptonshire, in central England. Designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is a Stone of Remembrance flanked by twin obelisks draped with painted stone flags standing in a small garden in what was once part of the churchyard of All Saints' Church.
Norwich War Memorial is a First World War memorial in Norwich in Eastern England. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the last of his eight cenotaphs to be erected in England. Prior to Lutyens' involvement, several abandoned proposals had been made for commemorating Norwich's war dead, and by 1926 the newly elected lord mayor was determined to see the construction of a memorial before he left office. He established an appeal to raise funds for local hospitals in memory of the dead as well as a physical monument. He commissioned Lutyens, who designed an empty tomb (cenotaph) atop a low screen wall from which protrudes a Stone of Remembrance. Bronze flambeaux at either end can burn gas to emit a flame. Lutyens also designed a roll of honour, on which the names of the city's dead are listed, which was installed in Norwich Castle in 1931.
Mells War Memorial is a First World War memorial by Sir Edwin Lutyens in the village of Mells in the Mendip Hills of Somerset, south-western England. Unveiled in 1921, the memorial is one of multiple buildings and structures Lutyens designed in Mells. His friendship with two prominent families in the area, the Horners and the Asquiths, led to a series of commissions; among his other works in the village are memorials to two sons—one from each family—killed in the war. Lutyens toured the village with local dignitaries in search of a suitable site for the war memorial, after which he was prompted to remark "all their young men were killed".
Southend-on-Sea War Memorial, or Southend War Memorial, is a First World War memorial in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, on the east coast of England. Designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is a Grade II* listed building.
The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Cenotaph is a First World War memorial dedicated to members of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and located in Maidstone in Kent, south-eastern England. Unveiled in 1921, the memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens following his design for the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London and is today a grade II* listed building.
The Royal Berkshire Regiment War Memorial or Royal Berkshire Regiment Cenotaph is a First World War memorial dedicated to members of the Royal Berkshire Regiment and located in Brock Barracks in Reading, Berkshire, in south-east England. Unveiled in 1921, the memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, based on his design for the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, and is today a grade II* listed building.
The Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial is a First World War memorial dedicated to members of the Lancashire Fusiliers killed in that conflict. Outside the Fusilier Museum in Bury, Greater Manchester, in North West England, it was unveiled in 1922—on the seventh anniversary of the landing at Cape Helles, part of the Gallipoli Campaign in which the regiment suffered particularly heavy casualties. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Lutyens was commissioned in light of a family connection—his father and great uncle were officers in the Lancashire Fusiliers, a fact noted on a plaque nearby. He designed a tall, slender obelisk in Portland stone. The regiment's cap badge is carved near the top on the front and rear, surrounded by a laurel wreath. Further down are inscriptions containing the regiment's motto and a dedication. Two painted stone flags hang from the sides.
The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry War Memorial is a First World War memorial in the Cowley area of Oxford in southern England. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it commemorates men of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry killed in the conflict; it was unveiled on Armistice Day, 11 November 1923, and has been a grade II listed building since 1972.
The Leeds Rifles War Memorial is a First World War memorial outside Leeds Minster on Kirkgate in Leeds, West Yorkshire in northern England. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, one of 15 instances of his War Cross and the only one commissioned by a regiment. The memorial, dedicated to members of the Leeds Rifles who fell in the First World War, was unveiled on Remembrance Sunday, 13 November 1921, and is today a grade II listed building.
Hove War Memorial is a First World War memorial on Grand Avenue in Hove, East Sussex, on the south-east coast of England. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens with sculpture by Sir George Frampton and closely resembles Fordham War Memorial in Cambridgeshire, which was also a collaboration between Lutyens and Frampton. It was unveiled in 1921 and is today a grade II listed building.
Lower Swell War Memorial is a First World War memorial in the centre of the village of Lower Swell in Gloucestershire in south-western England. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was unveiled in 1921 and is today a grade II listed building.