PMSA National Recording Project - South Yorkshire

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough

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ArtistMaker: not known
TitleOfWork: Doncaster War Memorial
DescriptionOfPhoto: bronze plaque on Elmfield Park gatepost
DateOfCreation: 1923
Medium: sandstone; bronze
Location: At Elmfield Park gates on Roman Road, at the junction with Bennetthorpe
AtoZReference: p.47 1E
Street: Roman Road
TownOrVillage: Doncaster
AreaInTown: Belle Vue
MetropolitanBorough: Doncaster
Photographer: Dave Ball
ImageCopyright: Sheffield Hallam University
AccessionNumber: d051i
Location: On Roman Road at its junction with Bennetthorpe. The entrance to Elmfield Park is behind the memorial and a plaque with details of the opening is on its left hand gatepost. The Great North Road runs into the centre of Doncaster past the memorial and newspapers at the time saw this as a site that would be therefore be viewed by the majority of visitors to the town as well as local inhabitants. The specific location may also owe something to the simultaneous establishment of Elmfield Park as a public park for the townspeople of Donacaster.

Description: An obelisk mounted on a pedestal. The figure of Victory stands, head bowed, on top of the monument dressed in robes with a wreath in his hand. Inscription on the front of the pedestal and above this on the obelisk is a classical frieze and the seal of Doncaster, higher still is a bronze Sword of Sacrifice. There are three relief carvings in the stone of the sides and rear of the pedestal. These represent the three services; the Army, the Navy and the Airforce.
The Army, on the rear of the monument is represented by the figure of St George in armour with a wreath around his hand and holding the Sword of Sacrifice in his left hand and a palm leaf in his right. A nurse in Red Cross uniform stands to his right and a infantryman in full marching kit to his left. Two couchant lions appear to the rear. On the right hand side of the Navy panel is the figure of Britannia with her trident. Opposite her is one of Drake's ships and between them in the middle distance a modern battlecruiser. Behind her, sailing towards the setting sun, is Nelson's 'Victory', while on the horizon there is a merchant sailing ship. The final panel, facing away from the town centre, has the Airforce badge at its centre at the top of the panel. From the right are the figures of the Airman, dressed in leather coat and goggles with his hand on the blade of a propellor; to his left stands Peace, who is appealing to him. Further left are two mechanics to whom the Airman is issuing instructions, at their feet tools and pieces of machinery.

Inscriptions: Facing the main road on the plinth: OUR / GLORIOUS / DEAD / 1914 - 1918 / 1939 - 1945
On coats of arms on the obelisk base: CONFORT ET LIESSE
A bronze plaque on the gatepost to Elmfield Park behind the memorial:

Commission: Funding for the memorial was raised by public subscription, the appeal being organised by the War Memorial Committee whose Chairman was the Mayor, T.H. Oliver. The total cost was estimated at 1,533 though this sum had not all been raised by the time of the memorial's unveiling. The work was carried out by Messrs J & H Patteson of Manchester and overseen by the Borough Estates Surveyor, Mr R.E. Ford. [1]

Comment: Newspaper reports record that Col. Moxon of Ponntefract was asked to perform the unveiling ceremony after Field Marshal Earl Haig and Admiral Earl Beatty declared they were "unable to attend". Col Moxon had been C.O. of the 5th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, many of whose soldiers were commemorated on the memorial. Detachments from the regiment were present at the ceremony to unveil the memorial.
Immediately after the unveiling ceremony, the Mayor of Doncaster formally opened Elmfield Park, whose gates lie just behind the Memorial, which had been bought and laid out by the Council for the people of Doncaster. [2]

References [1] Doncaster Gazette. March 9th 1923
[2] Doncaster Chronicle March 16 1923

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Last updated September 12, 2006