Abram Colliery, Wigan (Unused - Proof Copy?)

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Reference WMO/268125


Glasgow Museums Resource Centre

200 Woodhead Road




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Status: On subsequent site(s)
Type: Non freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Inside a building - public/private
Description: Roll of Honour or Book of Remembrance
  • Paper Paper
Lettering: Painted
  • First World War (1914-1918)
About the memorial: This World War I roll of honour was created for Abram Colliery, near Wigan. In the centre is a space left blank for names. On the left miners with lamps and equipment pay tribute and on the right an officer salutes fallen comrades. Pithead winding gear and a slag heap can be seen at the top left and soldiers on the frontline at the top right. Brangwyn was not an official war artist, and was too old to enlist, but wanted to do his part for the war effort. He produced a large number of lithographs depicting the war, informed by news agency photographs, newspaper illustrations, and uniforms and munitions in the collection of the Imperial War Museum. He designed recruitment posters, rolls of honour and war bond stamps. Many of his works created to raise money for war charities, for example the British Red Cross, St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blind Soldiers and Sailors, Belgian and Allies Aid League and French Army orphanage. He also produced lithographs for the Canadian War Memorial Fund and the Ministry of Information’s publication ‘Britain’s Efforts and Ideals of War’. Brangwyn always championed the cause of the ordinary working person in his artworks, in this case the miner soldier. His working class heroes are depicted with dignity and respect, often physically dominating the pictorial space. Abram Colliery was closed in the 1930s, reopened and finally closed for good in the 1960s. In 1908 an explosion killed 75 men and boys and in 1914-1918 many of its employees were killed in action. Over 2,000 colliery workers served in World War I. 289 of these were killed in action or died of their wounds. This roll of honour may be a proof and that is why it is blank. It was presented by the artist to Glasgow Museums in 1944. Glasgow Museums received 162 prints from the artist in 1944. He particularly wanted to help galleries and museums in deprived areas, believing that art should not be for the privileged few but for the everyone. In storage at the GMRC Reference - PR.1944.2.h
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