DescriptionYork has two war memorials by Lutyens, both of which have protracted histories. The North Eastern Railway Company considered locations in Darlington and Newcastle for a memorial to its staff before, not surprisingly, choosing York, where it had its headquarters. The company’s AGM on 20 February 1920 decided to allocate £20,000 for the project and that Lutyens should be approached as architect. He was duly appointed in October 1921 at a fee of £700 plus expenses.
The chosen site, alongside the city walls (which were formally recognised as an Ancient Monument) provoked controversy, which was only resolved following a meeting convened by the Ancient Monuments Board in July 1922. By a curious twist, by the time that the memorial was unveiled on 14 June 1924 by Lord Plumer, the NERC had ceased to exist having been incorporated into the London North Eastern Railway.
The names of the fallen are carved upon the memorial but, because of increasing problems of illegibility caused by erosion of the limestone, a list of names is contained in the nearby National Railway Museum. (Contributor: Tim Skelton)
The North Eastern Railway Company war memorial stands at the head of Station Road, just inside the city walls. Of Portland stone, the memorial comprises an obelisk mounted on slightly canted walls screening three sides of a shallow, stepped, podium on which stands the Stone of Remembrance. Screen walls terminate in urn finials, laurel swags and wreaths. The pedestal to the obelisk is carved in relief with a laurel wreath enclosing the armorial shields of the North Eastern Railway Company. The screen wall has a central dedication panel draped in carved laurel garlands flanked by panels bearing the incised names of 2,236 men of the North Eastern Railway Company who lost their lives in the First World War. Behind the Stone of Remembrance 15 slate panels engraved with the names of those lost in the Second War are set in the raised pavement. (Historic England, list entry 1256553)
BibliographyHistoric England.NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY COMPANY WAR MEMORIAL. [Online] Available from: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1256553
Also Cited InPevsner, N. and Neave, D. (1995) Yorkshire: York and the East Riding. The Buildings of England. London: Penguin.