November Artwork of the Month: The Peers' War Memorial

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01 November 2018

To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, November's Artwork of the Month is the Peers' War Memorial by John Tweed.

Soon after the First World War ended, the Scottish sculptor John Tweed (1869-1933) was commissioned to produce a memorial to Members and staff of the House of Lords, and their sons, who had died in the conflict.

An early plan was to site the Peers’ War Memorial in the Prince’s Chamber, where it would have taken the place of John Gibson’s statue of Queen Victoria (1855).

However, opposition to removing the Queen Victoria statue led to the memorial being placed in the oriel window in the Royal Gallery.

Unveiled by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) in 1932, the bronze statue depicts a youth offering his sword to his country. The plinth is inscribed 'In Piam Memoriam 1914-1919'.

After the Second World War, the statue was removed from the Royal Gallery. Today it stands in Black Rod’s Garden.

Wooden panels inscribed with the names of the fallen remain in place either side of the oriel window, while books of remembrance are displayed where John Tweed’s statue once stood.

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Further information

Image: The Peers' War Memorial by John Tweed, bronze and Portland stone, 1932 (Parliamentary Art Collection, WOA S266)

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