War memorial relief designed by Henry Wilson (1864-1934) in St Martin's Church, Low Marple, nr. Stockport. It was installed in 1926 to commemorate the local men who had been killed in the First World War. Under this bronze relief are two texts: "Then appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him" (from Luke 22, 43) and "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (from Isaiah 53, 4). The verse relates to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, but the angel on the right here carries the laurel wreath of victory, and there are women and children around. The suggestion seems to be that the fallen soldier, like the suffering Christ, is coming to his reward. The church's "History and Heritage" website says: "Wilson also provided (in 1926) a bronze relief sculpture as a war memorial. As in other war memorials by Wilson, this depicts Christ welcoming a soldier to heaven." Sadly, the names of four members of the Hudson family (the original benefactors of the church) are listed here.

As often noted, Wilson, with his typical arts-and-crafts ideals, believed in the unity of all the arts, and made himself not simply proficient as a sculptor but excellent. As an "outstanding modeller" with two years of foundry experience ("Harry (Henry) Wilson"), he has produced here a moving composition with all the complexity of meaning, fluency, and mastery of form and material which marked the New Sculpture.

Photograph and caption material by Michael Critchlow, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Related Material


"Harry (Henry) Wilson, 1864-1934)." Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-195. University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011. Web. 7 September 2016.

"History and Heritage of St Martin's Church." St Martin's Low Marple Heritage Trust. Web. 7 September 2016.

Created 7 September 2016