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Boy Scout War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Nelson, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.8374 / 53°50'14"N

Longitude: -2.2161 / 2°12'57"W

OS Eastings: 385878

OS Northings: 437922

OS Grid: SD858379

Mapcode National: GBR DSZ2.04

Mapcode Global: WHB7Q.XTX2

Entry Name: Boy Scout War Memorial

Listing Date: 9 March 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1424664

Location: Nelson, Pendle, Lancashire, BB9

County: Lancashire

District: Pendle

Civil Parish: Nelson

Built-Up Area: Nelson (Pendle)

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Nelson Little Marsden

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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War memorial commemorating Nelson scouts who died in the First World War. 1919 by Job Davies. Yorkshire grit stone.


War memorial commemorating Nelson scouts who died in the First World War. 1919 by Job Davies. Yorkshire grit stone.

PLAN: statue standing on square pedestal set on a square plinth.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is formed of buff-coloured Yorkshire grit stone. A carved figure of a Boy Scout wearing historic uniform stands on a tall, square pedestal set on a plinth. The scout stands to attention holding a tall staff in his right hand, with his left arm held at a right-angle across his body. He wears a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt with neckerchief and lanyard, shorts, knee socks with garters, and boots. On the back of his belt he carries a small hatchet. He stands on a partially squared base inscribed BE PREPARED, with a rocky background. This is set on a tall, square pedestal with relief-carved triangular pediments to the top of each face inset with decorative, foliate panels. At the base of the pedestal is deep cyma reversa moulding with relief-carved acanthus leaves to the corners. On the front face is a laurel wreath flanked by a scrolled ribbon dated 1914 / 1919. The front face of the pedestal is inscribed TO THE / Glorious Memory / OF THE / Nelson Scouts / WHO FELL IN THE / GREAT WAR. On the left-side face is inscribed SACRIFICE and on the right-side face is inscribed FOR US. The pedestal stands on a wide, square plinth.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 05/08/2015

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 2 February 2017.


On October 24th 1919 the Nelson Leader reported the unveiling ceremony in Victoria Park of a war memorial commemorating scouts from the town who had lost their lives fighting in the First World War. It was stated that the grit stone memorial depicting a Boy Scout 'was the first to be erected to the fallen scouts in England'. It was intended to mark the sacrifice and heroism of these former scouts of Nelson and act as inspiration to the rising generation and was accordingly situated overlooking the playing fields in the park. Scoutmaster Robinson said that as far as he could trace '105 Nelson scouts had made the supreme sacrifice and 156 of his own boys had joined the colours'.

The sculptor was Job Davies and the memorial cost £150. He used local boy John Abraham Moore as a model. Moore belonged to the St John's Scouts who met on Leeds Road and was reported to have been everyone's idea of what a scout should be.

In 1998 the statue was relocated next to Nelson's war memorial in Memorial Square, Market Square, adjacent to the town war memorial, in the centre of town. At this time it was restored as the broad-brimmed hat in particular had suffered from the effects of weather and vandalism.

Reasons for Listing

The Boy Scout War Memorial, Nelson, of 1919 by Job Davies is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Design: an unusual and particularly effective memorial depicting an actual Boy Scout wearing contemporary uniform and standing to attention;
* Rarity: though many scout groups commemorated the First World War, often with the construction of scout huts, this is a rare example of a war memorial dedicated specifically to local Scouts and was erected in 1919 at which time it was said to be the first such memorial erected in England.

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