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Bedford War Memorial, Bedford

Description: Bedford War Memorial

Grade: II
Date Listed: 24 July 2014
Building ID: 1420018

OS Grid Reference: TL0562349603
OS Grid Coordinates: 505623, 249603
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1346, -0.4582

Locality: Bedford
County: Bedford
Postcode: MK40 3PE

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Listing Text


War memorial, commemorating the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.

Reason for Listing

Bedford War Memorial, unveiled in 1922, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historical interest: it is a moving reminder of the impact on the community not only of two World Wars but of the Korean War;
* Design: the memorial is a striking and unusual design, expressive of courage and triumph, executed by the noted sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger. Jagger is known particularly for his collaborative and individual designs for war memorials, and this is a typically imaginative and finely executed example of his work.


The War Memorial in Bedford was designed by the sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger and erected by the builder G F Loughton. Bollards surrounding the memorial were designed by George P Allen. The memorial, erected in commemoration of those who died in the Great War of 1914 -1919, was unveiled in 1922 by Lord Ampthill. No names are included in the inscription for that war, nor as part of the inscriptions added subsequently to commemorate World War II and the Korean War.

Charles Sargeant Jagger (1885-1934) created both monumental sculptures and smaller works, exhibiting at the Royal Academy between 1913 and 1934, but is best known for his collaborative and individual designs for war memorials. Jagger served in the First World War, receiving the Military Cross for gallantry.


War Memorial, First and Second World Wars and the Korean War; unveiled 1922 by Lord Ampthill; sculptor, Charles Sargeant Jagger; surrounding bollards designed by George P Allen; builder, G F Loughton.

MATERIALS: the sculpture is in Carrara marble and the pedestal is Portland stone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial occupies a prominent position between the Embankment and the Promenade, on the north bank of the River Ouse. The cloaked figure of a knight (presumably representing St George), arms folded in triumph, stands firmly upright between the wings of a slain dragon slumped over a square plinth, its claws clutching the front edge, its tail hanging down behind. Below is a pedestal standing on a base and two steps. The steps are at the centre of a square stone platform surrounded by domed octagonal bollards linked by chains, one to each corner and one to the centre of each side.

There are inscriptions to three sides of the pedestal. The first commemorating World War I reads; 1914 + 1919 TO BEFORDIANS WHO DIED MANY IN EARLY YOUTH SOME FULL OF YEARS AND HONOUR BUT WHO ALL ALIKE GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY: that to World War II reads; 1939 + 1945 TO COMMEMORATE THE STRUGGLE AND SACRIFICE OF BEDFORDIANS; and to the Korean War; 1950 + 1953 TO COMMEMORATE THE KOREAN WAR. No names are recorded.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.