by Charles Sargeant Jagger, 1885-1934. Unveiled Armistice Day 1922. Architect: T. S. Tait. Paddington Station (along the western wall), London W2. Ann Compton considers this to be "one of his most highly regarded works" (38). [Click on these photographs and those below to enlarge them.]
Right: Close-up of upper part of the statue. Left: Close-up of the soldier's face.
As Jonathan Black writes: "His facial expression vividly conveys just how completely he is consumed in the act of reading" (187). It could well be, as Compton suggests, that Jagger recalled his own feelings on receiving news from home during his own active service.
Right: Three-quarter view of the soldier from the left-hand side. Left: The artist's name on the bronze base.
Enveloped in his huge greatcoat, the soldier is temporarily transported in thought to the world of home even as he apparently awaits transport to the front. Jagger has succeeded in creating a haunting memorial even without showing the soldier engaged in battle amid the horrors of war.
Photographs by Robert Freidus and text by Freidus and Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographers and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]
Black, Jonathan. "Reading Behind the Lines: War Artists." Reading and the First World: Readers, Texts, Archives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 171-189.
Compton, Ann. The Sculpture of Charles Sargeant Jagger. Much Hadham, Herts: The Henry Moore Foundation; Aldershot: Lund Humphries, 2004.
Last modified 4 June 2017