After the First World War thousands of memorials were produced in the United Kingdom. Hundreds featured figurative imagery, the largest project of public sculpture the country has ever seen.

Geoff Archer’s book explains how, why, by whom – and for whom – memorials were produced.

‘The Glorious Dead’ is the first comprehensive analysis of the subject. Lavishly illustrated with the author’s own photographs of soldiers and sailors, allegories of Peace, Grief, Victory and Death and images of women workers, horses and biplanes, it highlights the work of George Frampton, Albert Toft, Goscombe John, C.S. Jagger, Gilbert Ledward, Derwent Wood, Alexander Carrick, Walter Marsden, Louis Roslyn and many more.

The book also includes comprehensive lists of figurative memorials by date, design, location and sculptor.


Chapter 1      Pro Patria - masculinity and militarism and images of Britannia and St. George          

Chapter 2      Men Who March Away - soldiers, sailors and airmen, and the women left behind

Chapter 3      The Women of Britain Say ‘Go!’ - servicemen as the defenders of women and children

Chapter 4      Strong, Sensible and Fit - images of women: nurses, workers and servicewomen     

Chapter 5      Under Fire - dealing with injury, both mental and physical          

Chapter 6      The Great Sacrifice - religious imagery and the attitude of the church to the war     

Chapter 7      A Narrative of War - relief panels and the organisation of the memorial to 'tell a story' of the war       

Chapter 8      Peace - celebratory images of the returning soldier and figures of Peace, Liberty and Victory     

Chapter 9      We Will Remember Them - the organisational and decision-making processes of memorialisation       

Chapter 10    Memory and Mourning - memorials as 'sites of memory and mourning'     

Chapter 11    Regeneration - the post-war concern with reconstruction and a return to 'normality'

Chapter 12     Summary

Appendix I    Figurative Memorials of the First World War in the United Kingdom

Appendix II   Sculptors of Figurative First World War Memorials in the United Kingdom     


416 pages

274 b & w illustrations

"Archer is celebrating the last great flourishing of figurative British sculpture. His account is exhaustive, rich in detail and anecdote, taking his subject in all aspects of its imagery ... With its many photographs and copious appendices, it is a wonderful gazetteer, for those of us already hooked, to be put in the car on our travels around the country.”

William Packer (‘The Times’, 12 December 2009)


The story of public sculpture in Britain is the story of the self-promotion of royalty, the recognition of local and national heroes from the Napoleonic wars to the celebrities of today, of commemoration and memorialisation, the extravagant expression of visual idea and the creation of iconic images.

It is a story which moves from questions of who the work is of to who the work is by. But is also a question of who the work is for, with the story of the iconoclasm of the Reformation and the Interregnum, of the removal and destruction of the despised, of the imposition of unwanted works on an unimpressed public, and the verbal attacks of the establishment against the shock of the new.

‘Public Sculpture in Britain’ examines for the first time the changing face of what the author describes as ‘a fascinating free exhibition of three-dimensional art’.

Chapter One: MONARCHY






Chapter Seven: PUBLIC ART

416 pages

274 b & w illustrations

"Mr Archer covers an extremely wide range of works, including all the most famous memorials, while successfully avoiding a series of lists. Public art has always been controversial, and he gives lively accounts of such disputes. As a result, he has produced a very readable and enjoyable book."

John Sankey (' The Victorian Web')

"Geoff Archer has had the temerity to attempt a history of the subject, embracing the whole of Britain ... It is a considerable endeavour.  The result is impressive, and ... makes stimulating reading. In addition, the mainly coloured illustrations are magnificent."

Philip Ward-Jackson ('Sculpture Journal' Vol.23, Issue 1)


Geoff Archer has written three books: 'The Glorious Dead: Figurative Sculpture of British First World War Memorials', published in 2009 by Frontier Publishing; 'Public Sculpture in Britain: A History', published in 2013, again by Frontier Publishing; and 'Not Forgotten: First World War Memorials In and Around Macclesfield’, self published in 2016.

Photos by Geoff Archer - Stockport, Blackpool, Newcastle, Port Sunlight, Dingwall, Rawtenstall, Southwark, Derry, St Anne's on Sea, Royal Artillery London, Portadown, Leeds University, Leeds and Liverpool Post Office

Photos by Geoff Archer


Macclesfield has over forty memorials commemorating those who fought and died in the First World War. Many more are to be found in the surrounding towns and villages.  Memorials take many forms and can be found not only in public spaces but also in a wide range of institutions, including schools, churches, clubs, village halls, mills and factories.

The aim of this book is to reveal the full range of memorials produced in and around Macclesfield, both during and after the war, and to provide some explanation of the processes of memorialisation, of the social and artistic contexts in which memorials were planned, and of the intended meanings and subsequent interpretations of what was produced.

The book features memorials in Macclesfield and surrounding towns and villages, including Alderley Edge, Bollington, Buxton, Chelford, Congleton, Gawsworth, Henbury, Knutsford, Leek, Mobberley, Peover, Rainow, Rushton Spencer, Sutton, Wilmslow and many more.


Chapter 1 - Macclesfield at War

Chapter 2 - Wartime Memorialisation

Chapter 3 - Postwar Memorialisation

Chapter 4 - The Park Green Memorial


Appendix A - First World War Memorials in Macclesfield

Appendix B - First World War Memorials in the Towns and Villages Around Macclesfield   

170 pages

136 illustrations, mostly in colour

Photos by Geoff Archer - of works by Charles Tunnicliffe (Sutton), Walter John Pearce (Bollington),  Arthur George Walker (Chelford), Edward Burne-Jones (Macclesfield), William Hamo Thornycroft (Knutsford), John Henry Dearle (Macclesfield),  John Cassidy (Lower Peover), Irene Shakerley (Somerford), Allan Douglas Davidson (Leek), Frederick Etchells (Gawsworth), Alan Tabor (Macclesfield), Louis Frederick Roslyn (Buxton) and John Millard (Macclesfield - soldier & figure of mourning).