Glasgow Cenotaph

Submit a new image

Reference WMO/101074

Address:

George Square

Glasgow

G2 1DU

Scotland

Open large map

War Memorials Trust case: War Memorials Trust needs to avoid Contributors changing location/description details as we help to protect and conserve this war memorial through our casework. You can still add photographs, update condition and use the tabs below. If you believe any of the information you cannot edit is wrong or information is missing, please make a note of the reference number and include it in your email when you contact us.

Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
Description: Cenotaph
Materials:
  • Stone Granite
Lettering: Incised
Conflicts:
  • First World War (1914-1918)
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: The large granite cenotaph is located in George Square. Set into the front face, near to the top, of the obelisk is a bronze sword. Below caved in relief is the city seal featuring a figure of St Mungo and an incised painted (black) inscription. To the top of the side face are two laurel wreath caved into the stone, below an incised inscription painted (black) and to the rear side 2No. bronze flag poles, with decorative laurel wreath mounting bracket. To the rear face centrally located a caved Imperial coat of arms, below 2No. incised painted (black) inscriptions. To either side a bronze flag pole. In front of the obelisk, a stone sarcophagus set into the ground bears a carved wreath. Enclosing the obelisk is a U shaped low level wall, with incorporated seating raised on a three stepped base. Flanking the wall are two couchant guardant lions. The B listed memorial is sited in front of Glasgow City Chambers. This is the principal monument to Glasgow’s dead killed during the Great War of 1914- 18. The imposing monument by sculptor Ernest Gillick, (1874-1951), and architect, John James Burnet was erected in 1924 and provides a dignified setting for Glasgow’s annual remembrance ceremony where the clergy, dignitaries and Council officials lay wreaths at the Stone of Remembrance. By far the most powerful argument for the setting of the Cenotaph monument arose from the historical and sentimental associations bound up with that particular part of George Square. It was here that Glasgow soldiers were recruited by successive Lords-Lieutenants, and hence they marched to war. It was here also that those who returned took the salute. Glasgow’s monument to the First World War is designed on a rectangular U-Plan, and consists of a central stepped area flanked by a pair of low walls terminating in giant couchant lions. A truncated obelisk (strictly, the cenotaph itself) rises from the eastern side, the upper part of which takes the form of a sarcophagus decorated with four carved wreaths. The central area contains a horizontal slab bearing a relief carving of a large palm leaf and a wreath. Between this and the cenotaph is a simple altar-like block known as the ‘war’ stone or ‘great’ stone. On the front of the cenotaph is a figure of St Mungo in a baldacchino (canopy), which is itself embedded in a Glasgow crest. Attached to the wall above this is a gilded metal cross sculpted into the form of a sword. The rear wall of the cenotaph has an Imperial coat of arms carved in relief and a set of six bronze wreaths attached to flagpoles. Plans to erect the monument were first proposed on 9 February 1920, by Sir James Waston Stewart, who called a public meeting. The monument was finally unveiled by Earl Haig on Saturday, 31st May 1924, in a ceremony attended by many thousands of spectators. Among the guests were Burnet himself and Lord Blythswood, the chairman of the committee supervising the construction, who formally asked the Lord Provost to accept the custody of the memorial on behalf of the Corporation and general body of the citizens. The inscriptions relating to the Second World War were added in 1945. A similar design, but on a smaller scale, was used by Burnet on his Hunter memorial (1925) in Glasgow University. The Glasgow Museums resource Centre holds in storage some early photographs of ex-servicemen laying wreaths. (ID - PP1979.113.2, PP.1979.113.3, PP.1979.113.4, PP.1979.113.5). Also the programme at the dedication ceremony, PP.1998.116.14, and a ticket PP.1991.54.34.
Report this condition update

View more details
Report this condition update

View more details
Report this condition update

View more details

Grants to support the repair and conservation of war memorials are available from the charity War Memorials Trust if it has raised funds. Support is focused on war memorials in Very bad or Poor condition or where there is a serious Concern.

Before applying for a grant you should read the advice available on War Memorials Trust`s website. The What we can and cannot fund helpsheet explains what types of work the charity can fund.

If you believe your project is eligible for a grant you should complete the Pre-application enquiry form. You will need to be registered and logged in to complete this.

The Pre-application enquiry form is a series of questions to see if your project is eligible. If it is, you will need to provide further details and submit current colour photographs of the war memorial in either a png, gif, jpg or jpeg format.

You can save your Pre-application enquiry form as you go along. Once submitted War Memorials Trust will respond.

Please be aware that a summary of your enquiry, without your contact details, will appear on this page once submitted. This ensures others are aware that an enquiry has been made and can read the response to avoid duplicate enquiries. Information provided by you to us will be used for the purpose of managing the grant enquiry, for further details please read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy .

As a charity, War Memorials Trust relies on voluntary donations and every contribution, no matter how large or small, makes a really big difference to our work. Your donation will help protect and conserve war memorials for future generations so please support War Memorials Trust’s work.

Report this comment

The inscription reads ‘To the immortal honour of the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of Glasgow who fell in the Great War. This memorial is dedicated in proud and grateful recognition by the City of Glasgow.’

B (Scotland)

32692

Information Required

Information Required

Information Required

Information Required