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Plans to mark the centenary of the City’s iconic War Memorial

Published: 3 August 2023

Northernay War Memorial Northernhay War Memorial

Exeter’s iconic War Memorial is celebrating its centenary - and plans are being made to mark the occasion during this year’s Remembrance commemorations.

The Grade II listed City War Memorial is the most prominent and imposing monument in Northernhay Gardens and was unveiled exactly 100 years ago in 1923.

Funded by public subscription, the structure reveals a dedication not only to the citizens of Exeter, but also to the people of Devon. Carved into the stonework around the plinth is an inscription:

In proud and grateful memory of the men and women of Exeter and of Devon who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918. Their name liveth for evermore.

A plaque was added beneath the figure of a soldier to remember those who lost their lives in the Second World War.

The centenary of the monument will be marked with a special decorative display during Remembrance commemorations in November.

Cllr Martin Pearce, the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “The City War Memorial has proudly stood in Northernhay Gardens for the last 100 years as a way of remembering all those who lost their lives in conflict.

“It is very fitting that its centenary should be marked current members of the armed forces, veterans and the public during the annual Remembrance commemorations at the memorial later this year.” 

The striking granite monument in Northernhay Gardens takes the form of a plinth on a raised paved, stepped area, surrounded by grass and flowerbeds within low railings and a kerbed border.

Below the monument on a paved area troops, veterans, cadets and civic dignitaries assemble on Remembrance Sunday and other occasions.

At each corner of the plinth larger-than-life bronze sculptures represent those involved in the First World War – a soldier, a nurse, a sailor and a prisoner-of-war.

Standing on top of the pedestal is the figure of Victory, her right hand reaching skyward holding a sprig of laurel, itself an emblem of victory.

The design of the monument and its bronze sculptures is the work of John Angel, who was born in Newton Abbot and lived in Exeter.

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