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Home > Archive > Memorial to Fallen Colleagues 1914-18

Memorial to Fallen Colleagues 1914-18

Archive catalogue reference: M5/712
At the end of the First World War, Bank of England staff wished to commemorate colleagues who had given their lives in the service of their country. This volume was created as a permanent record of how that was achieved. It contains a range of material relating to the work of the Bank’s Memorial Committee in raising funds and deciding on a suitable memorial.

Several suggestions were put forward to the Committee including a memorial library and hall, the endowment of a scholarship at a university and the installation of a stained glass window at St Margaret’s, Lothbury.

From the various proposals the three chosen were to hold a memorial service, endow a hospital bed and erect a permanent memorial in the Bank’s garden.

A memorial service organised by the Bank took place at Southwark Cathedral on 12 April 1919. The Band of the HM Scots Guards played prior to the start of the service, and the national anthem was sung as the service was brought to a close. Those in attendance included the Governor of the Bank, Sir Brien Cokayne K.B.E, Lord Hollenden and Lady Cunliffe. Such was the success of the service, many wanted to contribute towards the expenses of the event, which led to the Bank providing funds towards the Cathedral’s Fabric and Repairs appeal. A copy of the Order of Service is included in the volume.

In addition to the memorial service, a sum of £1,000 was donated by the Bank of England from the memorial fund to endow a hospital bed. It was agreed between the Bank and Guy’s Hospital that the endowment would provide bed No. 27 in the Astley Cooper Ward, a surgical accident ward.  A brass plate was also designed to record that the staff of the Bank had donated the bed in memory of their colleagues who had been lost in the war.  Between 1919 and 1944, the Bank raised over £30,000 which as well as the bed, provided funds for what became known as Christopher Ward at Guy’s Hospital.

Of the three memorial schemes that were agreed, the planning for a statue in the Bank’s garden proved to be the most complex to organise. The initial idea was to erect a Memorial Cross, in recognition of Bank's location on the site of St. Christopher Le Stocks Church. But as such a large amount of money was raised by Bank staff, it was decided to  commission a symbolic piece of art, cast in bronze. The sculptor, Richard Goulden, was appointed and designed a statue of St Christopher and the Holy Child. This design was accepted in a majority vote by the Committee. After gaining successful authorisation at a General Meeting for a further funding appeal, the Bank secured enough money for the  inscription of the name of every man who had lost their lives at the base of the statue.

On Armistice Day 1921, relatives and colleagues of those who had Fallen gathered in the Bank’s Garden for the unveiling ceremony of the memorial statue.  Remarkably, the statue of St. Christopher and the Holy Child remained unscathed during the Second World War and stands in the garden of the Bank today. 

The volume includes a copy of The Old Lady Memorial Supplement issued in December 1921 which contains The Roll of Honour.

Memorial to Fallen Colleagues, 1914-1918 (29MB)

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