War memorial. Erected 1924. Designed by Captain Richard Reginald Goulden.
Reason for Listing
The People of Dover War Memorial is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by this community in both World Wars, it is of strong historic and cultural significance both at a local and a national level
* Artistic interest: designed by a talented artist who was born and trained in Dover, it is a moving and highly accomplished work
* Group value: the memorial has strong group value with the Grade II* listed Maison Dieu House which it stands before
The People of Dover War Memorial was unveiled on 5 November 1924 by Vice Admiral Sir Roger Keyes, with the dedication performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Names of those who fell in the Second World War were subsequently added, and a re-dedication was held on 6 November 1949 by local clergy and dignitaries.
The memorial is the work of Captain Richard Reginald Goulden (1877-1932). Goulden was born in Dover and attended Dover School of Art before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. His oeuvre includes a number of memorials, such as Kingston-upon-Thames War Memorial, Greater London (listed Grade II) and Crompton War Memorial, Oldham (listed Grade II). There is common imagery in many of Goulden's memorials; they often feature a flaming cross or torch, thorns, and the figure of an adult and a child. In the case of the People of Dover memorial, there is a single figure of a child, representing Youth. This figure is taken from a sculpture Goulden designed as the centrepiece of a fountain at Pittencrieff House, Dunfermline in 1908; the house had recently been bought by Andrew Carnegie and at this time Goulden was working as Art Adviser to the Carnegie Trust. In the original sculpture the figure of Youth reaches for a winged laurel wreath, the name of the work is 'Let Noble Ambition be the Thirst of Youth Always'. Goulden's widow believed the figure of Youth to be one of his best works, and after Goulden's death it became a memorial to its creator. A version of the sculpture stands at the entrance to Newhaven Cemetery, where Goulden is buried; in this version Youth holds a flaming cross, as at Dover. Several other versions of the sculpture are believed to exist in private ownership.
The memorial stands in front of Maison Dieu House in a memorial garden. It takes the form of bronze sculpture of a young boy representing Youth, standing with his arms stretched upwards and holding a flaming cross in his right hand; at his feet is a ring of thorns. The sculpture stands on a granite pedestal with low flanking walls to either side and a stepped base. The front of the pedestal bears the Dover coat of arms and the following inscription in applied bronze letters:
TO THE GLORIOUS / MEMORY OF THE / PEOPLE OF DOVER / WHO GAVE THEIR / LIVES FOR THEIR / COUNTRY IN THE / GREAT WAR / 1914-1919 1939-1945
To the rear of the memorial is a second inscription on a bronze plaque which reads:
THIS MEMORIAL / WAS ERECTED BY PUBLIC / SUBSCRIPTION – FUNDS / COLLECTED FOR DOVER / PRISONERS OF WAR BEING / ALSO GIVEN AS A THANK / OFFERING BY THOSE WHO / RETURNED SAFELY
Bronze plaques arranged around the walls, base and pedestal bear the Roll of Honour.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.