Basingstoke War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Basingstoke and Deane Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 4AN


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Statutory Address:
Basingstoke and Deane Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 4AN

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Basingstoke and Deane (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, 1923, with later additions for the Second World War. Architect J Arthur Smith, sculptor L F Roslyn.

Reasons for Designation

Basingstoke War Memorial, which stands outside the north entrance to the War Memorial Park, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20; * Architectural interest: a substantial civic memorial in the Classical style; * Sculptural interest: with a monumental figure of Victory by noted sculptor L F Roslyn; * Group value: with Goldings (Grade II-listed).


A public meeting held on 28 January 1919 in the Town Hall determined that Basingstoke should have a war memorial. On 26 May that year the townspeople voted in favour of the creation of a memorial park. With the help of a generous loan from Thomas Burberry, Goldings (a Georgian house and its grounds) was purchased. The loan was paid off through public subscription and a surplus £2,000 was used to commission and erect a memorial monument in front of Goldings House.

The memorial was unveiled on Empire Day, 24 May 1923, by Major-General J E B Seely, to commemorate the men of Basingstoke who died during the First World War. Whilst 233 names are listed, it is thought that the actual number of men from Basingstoke who died in service is closer to 600. Seely also unveiled the new gates to the War Memorial Park, at that time placed immediately to the south of the memorial.

The memorial was designed by J Arthur Smith FRIBA and the bronze figure of Victory is by L F Roslyn. Rosyln’s work was paid for by four anonymous subscribers. The builders were Messrs Mussellwhite and Son of Basingstoke. Following the Second World War another 108 names were added on bronze plaques to commemorate the fallen of that conflict.

J Arthur Smith FRIBA (1870-1938) was articled to Charles Smith of Reading in 1887, and was Assistant to Alfred Tiltman, Frederick Knight, and then Sir Aston Webb before commencing independent practice in London in 1895. Practising from Basingstoke from 1899, he was responsible for the adaptation of Goldings' grounds into the War Memorial Park, as well as for the design of the memorial monument. His work includes many domestic, commercial and municipal buildings in Hampshire.

Louis Frederick Roslyn (born Roselieb) (1878-1940) was a London-born sculptor of German ancestry. At the Royal Academy schools he was awarded the Landseer scholarship and a travelling scholarship. In 1917 he entered service with the Royal Flying Corps at the School of Military Aeronautics. He became a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1914, and a Fellow in 1923. Roslyn was one of the most prolific sculptors of war memorials, with more than two dozen known including examples at Rawtenstall, Oswaldtwistle, Darwen, Port Talbot (Wales), Portstewart (Northern Ireland) and Trinidad in the Caribbean; more than ten of his war memorials are listed, as are at least three of his other works.


The war memorial stands in a small square on Basingstoke’s Civic campus with Goldings (Grade II-listed) to the west side. Built in Portland stone, it comprises a substantial plyon surmounted by a tall figure of Victory.

The memorial stands on a broad circular four-stepped platform. Each corner of the platform is marked by a low pedestal, square on plan, in the form of intersecting barrels and with Latin crosses carved in low relief on the exterior faces. The base of the plyon is square on plan, each face of which is inscribed 1939 – 1945 with a rectangular bronze plaque below recording the commemorated names of the Second World War fallen. Non-canonical pilasters with plain plinths and capitals on each face of the plyon carry a blank entablature. The pylon is surmounted by round-headed pediments to each side, and a two-stage octagonal drum bearing a bronze hemisphere on which stands the figure of Victory. She flies forward, carrying a wreath in her right hand and an olive branch in her left.

In the tympanum of the front pediment the arms of the borough are displayed on a bronze plaque mounted on a stone shield. Below, the entablature carries the dedication IN MEMORIAM in metal lettering. The front face of the pylon is ornamented with a Latin cross and plinth, carved in low relief: on this plinth are the dates AD/ 1914 1918/ 1939 1945, also in metal lettering. Large bronze panels are fixed to the other three sides of the plyon, below the dates 1914 – 1918, recording the names of the fallen of the First World War.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 6 December 2016.


Books and journals
Who's Who in Architecture, (1926), 272
Brodie, Antonia (ed.), Directory of British Architects, 1834-1914: Vol. 2 (L-Z), (2001), 647-8
Archaeology Data Service: report by CK Currie, accessed 13/04/2016 from
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, The War Memorial Park, accessed 13/04/2016 from
University of Glasgow, Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, accessed 13/04/2016 from
Victoria County History Explore, accessed 13/04/2016 from
War Memorials Online, accessed 06/12/2016 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 06/12/2016 from


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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