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South African War Memorial

artist unknown

Hull /  South African War Memorial   Hull /  South African War Memorial


Marble statue of two soldiers in uniform and accoutrement of the Second South African War, one is defending his wounded comrade on a 'kopje'.
The memorial was unveiled on 5 November 1904 by the Mayor of Hull.

The statue was made in Carrara, Italy, as reported by the Hull Daily Mail of 4 July 1904:

It is a far cry from Hull to Carrara, but it is from that distant, dusty, gunny, picturesquely situated little town in Tuscany that a correspondent writes in the current issue of the "Building News" upon Hull's "War Memorial." Mr. Greville C. Hemms - who, by the way, is the eldest son of Mr Harry Hemms, the widely-known ecclesiastical sculptor, of Exeter, a Yorkshireman, and formerly a Sheffield cutler's lad - has been making a round of the studies in that world's centre of the marble trade, and in the course of his travels he has found a memorial not made in Germany, but in course of construction in Italy. This is what Mr. Hemms says about it:
"Amongst the public memorials for England now being erected in Carrara is a large one for Hull. It is to the memory of brave Yorkshire soldiers who died in South Africa, and being carved in marble from a small sketch-model in wax supplied by a London sculptor. The composition suggests a soldier bending over and succouring a wounded comrade. The whole work is undoubtedly striking, but very foreign in conception. No one will ever recognise in it that the figures are intended to be representations of our knaki-clothed heroes. Had I been informed the group was for one of Boulevards of Paris, and depicted two of the worthy French braves at the time of the Commune, I should have considered the inspiration excellent. The wounded soldier has very long hair. I pointed out to the sculptor that no English soldier would appear like that. He wittily retorted that no doubt it was difficult to 'get yer hair cut' in time of war. Perhaps he is right, and, may be. the finished work will not invite the criticism I anticipate it will when fixed in position in its North-country home upon a base which (it is good to hear) is being executed in England. No fault can be found with the artistic execution of this work; that is perfect."

N.B. The cenotaph behind the statue is the war memorial for the First and Second World Wars.


erected by
public subscription
to the memory of
the men of hull
who lost their
lives during the
south african war
1899, 1900, 1901, 1902

alderman wm. jarman, mayor.
sir w. alfred gelder, chairman
of memorial committee.
5th. november, 1904.;

Memorial - list of names

We have photos of the list(s) of the names on this memorial. Contact us if you want to see these lists. (contact form)


Sources & Information


Locatie (N 53°44'39" - W 0°20'39") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

Item Code: gbyh046; Photograph: 25 July 2019
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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