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St John's Gardens (L1)

The King's Liverpool Regiment Monument

W. Goscombe John

Liverpool /  The King's Liverpool Regiment Monument   Liverpool /  The King's Liverpool Regiment Monument


Statue of Britannia on a plinth, in the center of a semi-circular wall with on both ends statue of two soldiers representing the King's Liverpool Regiment in the uniforms of 1685 and 1902. In front of Britannia's plinth is a heap of weaponry, flag and a palm leaf, and a wreath. On the back side of the plinth is the statue of the Drummer Boy: a youth seated on a cannon and trophy of flags and so forth, his drum sticks active in his hands.
The wall is inscribed with the names of their most recent exploits: Afghanistan (1878-80), Burma (1885-87), and South Africa (1899-1902).

Unveiled on on 9 September 1905 by Field Marshal Sir George White, V.C.

Liverpool - The King's Liverpool Regiment Monument
1685 soldier.
Liverpool - The King's Liverpool Regiment Monument
1902 soldier.
Liverpool - The King's Liverpool Regiment Monument
The Drummer Boy.
Liverpool - The King's Liverpool Regiment Monument
Heap of weaponry and flags

On the day of the unveiling, the Manchester Courier published a description:

The splendid memorial by Mr. W. Goscombe John, A.R.A., to the officers and men of the King's Liverpool Regiment who fell in Burma, Afghanistan, and South Africa will be unveiled this afternoon. Sir George White, the defender of Ladysmith, is to perform the ceremony.
The monument is composed centrally of pedestal on which stands a figure of Britannia blessing those who have died for their country. The pedestal is flanked by a lower wall, or parapet, against which stand at either corner two soldiers, one of the year 1685 (when the regiment was enrolled) and one of the year 1902.
On a sloping step, the foot the central pedestal, are heaped military accoutrements of various kinds and periods, intermingled with wreaths aud palms and covered with the Union Jack. At the back of the pedestal is seated, on a ruined earth-work, a drummer boy of the period of the battle of Dettingen, beating call arms.
On the front of the pedestal is the inscription, and on either side of it, on the flanking wall, the names of those who have died in the more recent campaigns, namely, Afghanistan, Burmah, and South Africa. On the back the pedestal and the flanking wall are figured the badges and honours of the Regiment. On the plinth in the front of the accoutrements and flag is the regimental motto, "aspera terrent," and the back of the plinth, under the drummer boy, the crest and motto of the City of Liverpool.
Britannia stands with her right arm upraised in the act of blessing. She is armed with the weapons defence alone. On her left arm hangs the shield, and in her left hand she holds a spray of laurel. The shield is decorated with sea horses and the helmet with a prow and galleys and a sea horse crest, all suggestive of maritime power. The soldiers on either side stand at ease with their muskets lightly held. The monument from the front view bears a solemn effect befitting a mournful purpose.
The back view, however, is not so, for the drummer boy, seated on the ruined earth-work and shouting excitedly to his comrades, beats a stirring call to arms, forgetful of all pain and sorrow—suggesting the lively strains of the return from military funeral.
The total height of tbe monument is about 26ft., and the width about 25ft. The greatest care has been taken in all details of uniform for the several periods shown, so that they may depended on as correct in every particular.
The whole of the work has taken three years to complete. The sculpture is all of bronze and architectural portion of grey Scottish granite. The bronze casting has been carried out the most admirable and efficient manner by Mr. A. B. Burton, of Thames Ditton, Surrey, and the granite work by Messrs. Kirkpatrick Bros., of Trafford Park, Manchester, in a similar admirable and efficient way.



this monvment is erected by the officers
non commissioned officers and men of the
regiment and by the gratefvl contribvtions
of the people of liverpool in memory of
their comrades and fellow citizens who
died dvring the campaign in afghanistan 1878-80
bvrma 1885-1887 and sovth africa 1899-1902
some fell on the field of battle some died
of wovnds and some of disease bvt all gave
their lives for the honovr of the reg-
-iment their city and their covntry


(Britannia): w. goscombe john a.r.a.
(Drummer Boy): W. Goscombe John A.R.A. 1905.
(after Cavanagh, no photos made).

St John's Gardens

The spot of the St John the Baptist church - demolished in 1898 - at it's cemetery - full in 1854 - was redeveloped and opened in 1904 as 'St John's Ornamental and Memorial Gardens'. The gardens were designed by the corporation surveyor Thomas Shelmerdine. In addition to the creation of flower beds, the gardens contain an assemblage of six statues of great men connected with Liverpool and the King's Liverpool Regiment monument.

In chronological order:

  1. Alexander Balfour, by Albert Bruce-Joy, 1889.*
  2. William Rathbone VI, by George Frampton, 1901.
  3. Sir Arthur Bower Forwood, by George Frampton, 1903.
  4. William Gladstone, by Thomas Brock, 1904.
  5. The King's Liverpool Regiment Monument, by W. Goscombe John, 1905.
  6. James Nugent, by Frederick Pomeroy, 1906.
  7. T. Major Lester, by George Frampton, 1907.
  8. RoadPeace Monument, by Tom Murphy, 2005.
* The Balfour statue was erected before the replanning of the area, it was later moved eastwards to its present location.


Sources & Information


Locatie (N 53°24'32" - W 2°58'53") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

Item Code: gbnw077; Photograph: 18 June 2023
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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