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Cawthra, Joseph Hermon (1886-1971) Sculptor

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Cawthra, Joseph Hermon (1886-1971) Sculptor
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File WORK 20/197 held at The National Archives covers the Earl of Meath Memorial at Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park. This was the work of Joseph Hermon Cawthra and was erected in 1934. The file covers the period 1933 to 1934. Reginald Brabazon, the 12th Earl of Meath was the founder of “Empire Day”. There is a memorial window dedicated to him in St.Paul’s Cathedral, London.

The file follows the request to Office of Works by the Committee for a National Memorial to the Earl of Meath for approval to erect the statue.

The Office of Works sought the advice of the Royal Fine Art Commission who had firm ideas on where the statue should be positioned and it was finally unveiled on the 24th May 1934.

At the back of the file there is an “Order of Service” for the unveiling, dedication and presentation of the memorial.

Cawthra was also chosen to produce the new statuary group for the Burns Mausoleum in Dumfries, Scotland. This was unveiled on the 19th September 1936. He was also responsible for the bronze panels on the Bury War Memorial at Bury in Lancashire, unveiled in 1924 and also produced the War Memorial at Bootle in Lancashire as well as the St John at Hackney Memorial at St.John at Hackney Churchyard Gardens in Lower Clapton, Essex.

The Bury War Memorial has two rectangular bronze panels on either side of the central cross. The panel on the left hand side shows members of the three armed forces, including a female nurse. The panel on the right hand side depicts the Home Front with different civilian occupations represented- miners, engineers, carpenters, munition workers, etc.

The gallery below shows various photographs of the memorial and panels taken on a visit to Bury in June 2008.



The Bury War Memorial was unveiled in 1924 by the Earl of Derby.

Cawthra was born in Shipley, Yorkshire and studied at Salts Art School in Shipley, the Leeds School of Art, the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools.

Another notable Cawthra work is the “Mother and Child” in Bishop’s Park, Hammersmith, London and the relief work for the Sadler’s Wells Theatre building in Islington.