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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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War Memorials


This description was taken from the 8th edition of Worth's "Guide to Exeter":

"Opposite the ancient ruin of Rougemont Castle on Northernhay stands Exeter War Memorial, erected in 1923 by public subscription at a cost of over £6000. It was designed and executed by John Angel F.R.B.S.

Mr. Angel is an Exonian of whom citizens are justly proud. He received his early Art training in the Exeter School of Art. Later, he studied at the Lambeth School under Sir George Frampton R.A. His reputation has steadily increased of late years, and in 1919, he was elected a Member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

The following is a description of what is considered to be one of the finest War Memorials in the country:

The granite pedestal 20 feet high forms a cross on plan. The surmounting figure of VICTORY holds aloft a spray of laurels in token of gratitude to Heaven. Boldly modelled, and with considerable action, this figure, standing on a dragon, forms an interesting silhouette from all sides.

Exeter - The Northernhay War Memorial

Below, on each of the four arms of the cross, sits a representative figure of the war in bronze. In front, sits a SOLDIER in an attitude of triumphant repose. Wearing his shrapnel helmet, overcoat and gas mask, his rifle slung over his shoulder, and his kit flung over a camouflaged gun, he looks the symbol of the British Army.

Facing the City Wall, sits the SAILOR astride the hull  of a ship, the figure head of which takes the form of the Exeter City Arms. Wearing only his breeches and holding in his left hand a submarine net, and in his right a chart, he sits in an attitude of watchfulness. The figure is full of movement and modelled with vigour.

Opposite the sailor, sits the PRISONER OF WAR. This figure signifies the relief work for our prisoners in Germany done by a band of Exonians headed by Lady Owen, wide of Sir James Owen (at that time Mayor of Exeter). This statue symbolises courage under the strains of war.

Opposite the soldier, sits a V.A.D. NURSE, wearing her working costume and holding in her two hands a bandage. At her side is a sheaf of corn and on the same  side underneath is a shrapnel shell, representing the various activities in which women were engaged in the War.

The total height is 31 feet. The outer step is 23 feet square. VICTORY is 8 feet high from heel to forehead. The four lower figures are each 7 feet 4 inches (if standing.)

The pedestal is of Devon granite quarried and erected by Messrs. Easton & Son of Exeter."

The firm of Morris Singer was established in Frome, Somerset in 1848 by John Webb Singer, a watchmaker with an interest in cast metal ornaments. As "Singers of Frome",  the company was commissioned to cast the figures for the Exeter War Memorial in 1922.  In 1927, Singers merged with the Morris Art Bronze Foundry and London became the home of the new combined company.

The casting of the figure of JUSTICE atop the Old Bailey was commissioned from Singers of Frome by the architect Edward Mountford when the Old Bailey was rebuilt in between 1903 and 1906 and is possibly their best-known work.


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