On 4 August 2014 it was exactly 100 years since Britain entered the First World War. Within government the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has lead plans to build a commemoration fitting of this significant milestone in world history. Most of us don’t know what our families were doing in 1914. Many – in schools, the local library and online – will be encouraged to find out. The British centenary will be a distinctly civic affair, to an extent unlikely to be matched in other countries. There will be great state occasions as the Queen hosts presidents and prime ministers at Glasgow Cathedral. In Liverpool we will see the Little Girl Giant and her canine companion Xolo return to the city's streets from 23 to 27 July. to commemorate World War One. They last appeared in 2012 in Sea Odyssey which was watched by 800,000 people.
English Heritage expects to list up to 2,500 war memorials between now and 2019, Starting with the Liverpool Cenotaph. The Liverpool Cenotaph was listed at Grade II in 1952 but English Heritage has reassessed its architectural and historic significance and believes it should be recognised as one of the most important war memorials in the country. Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important; only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I. The only other two Grade I war memorials are in Victoria Park in Leicester, first listed in 1955 and the Cenotaph in Whitehall, first listed in 1970. Both were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The Liverpool Cenotaph was designed by Lionel Budden with sculptural work by Herbert Tyson Smith and unveiled in 1930. In the form of a vast altar, it is decorated with bronze reliefs which are among the finest responses to remembrance ever created. One depicts massed ranks marching off to war. The other, unflinching in its depiction of the scale of loss and grief, shows mourners in contemporary dress pay their respects, their solemn faces downcast and an elderly man stifles a sob.
|Liverpool war memorial|
|© Imperial War Museums|
Genuine battle photographs of men under fire are rare. The one above shows the men of the 1/10th Battalion, King’s (Liverpool Regiment), known as the Liverpool Scottish, in the middle of an attack at Bellewaarde outside Ypres on 16 June 1915. It was taken by Private Fred Fyfe, a pre-war press photographer as he lay wounded.
By Robert F Edwards