With it being Remembrance Sunday this weekend (list of local services – West Kirby at 10.45 am), here is a timely article relating to the Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial on Grange Hill.
The Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial (pictured above) is a 14.5-metre-high, granite four-sided obelisk which stands on Grange Hill. It was designed by British sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger (1885-1934), who also designed the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London. The Memorial was erected in 1922 to the designs of Messrs Hall & Glover, architects, and the renowned War Memorial sculptor, Charles Sargeant Jagger, who began working on the commission in 1919. The memorial was produced at the foundry of Messrs A.B. Burton and cost approximately £7,500. The Memorial is now Grade II Listed.
On two sides of the obelisk stand bronze figures symbolising war and peace. On the west face is a figure of a robed woman holding a baby, a wreath of poppies and broken manacles. On the east face stands a British infantry soldier (pictured left – known locally as Tommy it seems) dressed for winter and standing guard with standard issue .303 rifle, bayonet fixed, a gas mask, water bottle, putties and his helmet pushed off the back of his head, and a German helmet at his feet.
It is this sculpture of the infantry soldier that links West Kirby to Melbourne, Australia. The Shrine of Remembrance, located in Melbourne was built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I and is now a memorial to all Australians who have served in war. It is one of the largest war memorials in Australia.
The Driver and Wipers Memorial (pictured right – infantry soldier on right), in the Shrine reserve, commemorates the thousands of Australian lives lost during the fighting at Ypres. The lefthand figure is a recasting of one of the figures from the Royal Artillery Memorial in Hyde Park, London, UK. The other bronze, the “Wipers” figure on the righthand side, is a recasting, taken from the Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial.