War Memorial

Before settling on the design that we all recognise, the Alnwick War Memorial Committee rejected a number of alternatives, including a new garden suburb with cottages for disabled soldiers and sailors; a public hall with rest room for soldiers and sailors; a new wing or endowment fund for Alnwick Infirmary; and a recreation ground with bandstand.

By the end of 1919 the committee had also rejected the idea of 3-foot high figures, and agreed on an ornamental lamp holder with three corner piers, each supporting a life-sized bronze figure, in mourning, with a reversed rifle.

The original memorial cost around £2,600 (equivalent to about £125,000 today) which was
raised by public subscription.

The memorial was unveiled on 11 November 1922. Shops closed, and proceedings began with a procession from the market place, led by a guard of honour from Northumberland Fusiliers.

The War Memorial was erected on the western tip of Column Field and a new section of road was built between the new memorial and the remainder of the parkland to create the island on which the memorial stands. The perimeter wall was adjusted at this time.

The original plan for the War Memorial – from the Duke of Northumberland’s collection

The memorial comprises three bronze figures with reversed rifles at the corners of a triangular pedestal: a sailor, airman, and soldier. A Doric column holds an elaborate bronze and glass lantern.

Edward, Prince of Wales, paying his respects at Alnwick War Memorial, 1923 – from the Bailiffgate Collection

Plaques and inscriptions now commemorate 189 casualties from the 1914-18 war, 76 from the 1939-45 war, one from the Korean War, and one from Northern Ireland.

  • Architects: Hicks and Charlewood, Newcastle
  • Contractors: J.G. Green & Sons Ltd., Warkworth
  • Figures: modelled by Roger Hedley (of Ralph Hedley, Newcastle) and cast by J. W. Singer &
    Co. in Somerset.