The War Memorial

s699A view of Stockton War Memorial unveiling ceremony during the laying of the official wreaths. Many dignitaries, army personnel, schoolchildren and relatives of the fallen are in attendance.

The Globe Picture House, No.154 can be seen in the distance. The Globe was built c1914, demolished and rebuilt again in 1935. It was renamed the ABC in 1964, had its last performance in 1975. It became Mecca Bingo in 1981.

The photograph probably dates from the late 1920s/early 1930s…

6 thoughts on “The War Memorial

  1. Contrary to an earlier statement that the Stockton War Memorial was unveiled in November 1923, the ceremony actually took place on 31 May 1923, when it was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Durham, Herbert Hensley Henson.


  2. I believe this ceremony was conducted in November 1923.

    No doubt the massive turnout of the population of Stockton was due to the fact than there can hardly have been a person in the town who did not know of a relative, neighbour,friend, work colleague, or social-club member, who had been killed (or maimed) in the mechanical slaughter of men and teenage boys, that followed the declaration of the First World War in 1914.

    Interesting to note that the ‘reversed rifle’ stance, adopted by the serving soldiers at each corner of the plinth, was captured figuratively in smaller, cast-stonework memorials around the UK.

    Sadly, this solemn, dignified, yet superbly designed memorial to the ‘War to end all wars’, was to be brought into focus again just 16 years later in 1939, after the declaration of WWII, against the same enemy.

    On a lighter note, I am impressed by the huge lanterns hanging on decorative brackets from the front of the Robinson’s department store. I also notice that the 1st floor windows have ‘sheer’ curtains with low translucent café-rail curtains, possibly indicating that this may have been the restaurant and tea-room area of the store, affording a view of the High Street / Church Row.

    I understand that the Globe Theatre/Cinema in view, was built on the site of an older non-conformist chapel, of which a photograph exists in the Picture Stockton archive.

    Can anyone identify the vehicle, parked amongst the crowd, just to the left of the cresting and finial stonework, at the top of the memorial?


    • Chris, what you believe to be the rear of a vehicle, is actually the intricate capping on top of the stone gateposts at the main entrance to the church. You may just be able to make out the large lantern which stood atop of each post.
      The posts and their lanterns can be seen in this view of the church


  3. At a guess I’d claim this is one of the most priceless works of art in the North East, and for safety I think it should be enclosed in a glass cage or taken to Preston Park! It’s priceless, I’ve just spent an hour or so researching it’s history and discovered this information: H V Lanchester architect.

    Henry Vaughan Lanchester (1863–1953) was an English architect working in London. He served as editor of The Builder, was a co-founder of the Town Planning Institute and a recipient of the Royal Gold Medal. Lanchester was born in St John’s Wood, London. His father, Henry Jones Lanchester (1816–1890), was an established architect, and his younger brother, Frederick W. Lanchester, was to become an engineer. He was articled to his father, but also worked in the offices of London architects F.J. Eadle, T.W. Cutler and George Sherrin from 1884-1894. He studied at the Royal Academy in 1886, won the Aldwinckle Prize and, in 1889, the Owen Jones Studentship.

    His first architectural work was Kingswood House, Sydenham, in 1892, and he established his own practice in 1894. His first fully independent work in 1896 were offices in Old Street, for Messrs Bovril Ltd. He formed a partnership in 1896 with James A. Stewart (1865 or 6 – 1908) and Edwin Alfred Rickards (1872 – 1920). As Lanchester, Stewart and Rickards, in 1897 the firm won the competition to build Cardiff City Hall. Lanchester was editor of the Builder from 1910-12. In 1912, he visited India and prepared a report on the planning of New Delhi as well as preparing plans for Madras. In 1914 he was one of the founder members of the Town Planning Institute in London. He formed a new partnership in 1923, Lanchester, Lucas & Lodge, with Thomas Geoffry Lucas and Thomas Arthur Lodge. He was appointed Professor of Architecture at University College London, and in 1934 Lanchester was awarded the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects. WORKS: Cardiff City Hall, Cardiff Law Courts, Methodist Central Hall, Harrogate Hospital, Parkinson Building, Leeds University, The Town Hall Deptford, London, (etc)

    (I live near Leeds University and it really his an impressive building)

    Further information on the Stockton War Memorial Architect;

    Henry Vaughan Lanchester was born in London on 9 August 1863 the son of Henry Jones Lanchester and was articled to his father in 1879. Thereafter he sought wider experience in the offices of Frederick James Eedle, Thomas William Cutler and George Campbell Sherrin, taking classes at the Royal Academy Schools and the Architectural Association, gaining the Aldwinckle Travelling Studentship and passing the qualifying examination in 1888, and winning the Owen Jones Studentship in 1889 – 90. He was admitted ARIBA on 18 November 1889, his proposers being Cutler, Stephen Salter and Aston Webb. In 1896 Lanchester formed a partnership with James S Stewart and Edwin Alfred Rickards. Stewart, born in 1866, had also been in Sherrin’s office and had studied at the Royal Academy Schools and had an equally distinguished record winning the Academy’s Gold and Silver Medals. Edwin Alfred Rickards, born in 1872, was first articled to Richard John Lovell, but like Lanchester, he moved to Frederick Jones Eedles and after a spell with Dunn and Watson, also to Sherrin’s where he renewed contact with Lanchester and met Stewart; from there he went to Leonard Stokes’s office until invited by Lanchester to join them in partnership. The firm came into immediate prominence by winning the third premium in the Edinburgh North British competition and then in the following year by winning the Cardiff City Hall and Law Courts competition.

    Stewart never sought admission to the RIBA and died tragically early on 3 August 1904, the firm then becoming Lanchester and Rickards. In 1912 Lanchester went to India to report on a site for New Delhi and the replanning of Madras and other Indian cities and acquired a large practice there. Rickards, who had suffered from indifferent health since a near collapse from overwork in 1913 looked after the London office. He volunteered for military service in 1916 but was invalided out after three months. He became seriously ill in 1919 and died in Bournemouth on 29 August 1920. Because of Rickards’ illness Lanchester took Thomas Geoffrey Lucas into partnership in 1919 and in 1923 Lucas’s former partner Thomas Arthur Lodge. Lanchester died on 16 January 1953 in London.


  4. What a work of art this is, it must be one of the most attractive War Memorials in Britain, it’s a great pity it was not placed prominently in the middle of the High Street, close to the Town Hall. Whoever made this should have been engaged to carve ‘The Cenotaph’ in White Hall, London.


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