Charles Sargeant Jagger

Charles Sargeant Jagger
Charles Sargeant Jagger

Detail from Jagger's Royal Artillery Memorial
Born 17 December 1885
Kilnhurst, Rotherham, Yorkshire, UK
Died 16 November 1934 (aged 48)
London, UK
Nationality British
Field sculpture, relief
Training Sheffield School of Art, Royal College of Art
Works Royal Artillery Memorial, London
Henry Mond, 2nd Baron Melchett
Patrons Imperial War Graves Commission
Influenced by New Sculpture
Awards Prix de Rome, Military Cross

Charles Sargeant Jagger MC (17 December 1885 Kilnhurst, near Rotherham, Yorkshire - 16 November 1934) was a British sculptor who, following active service in the First World War, sculpted many works on the theme of war. He is best known for his war memorials, especially the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner and the Great Western Railway War Memorial in Paddington Railway Station, both of which are in London, and he also designed several other monuments around Britain and other parts of the world.



Jagger was the son of a colliery manager, and was educated at Sheffield Royal Grammar School. At age 14 he became an apprentice metal engraver with the Sheffield firm Mappin and Webb.[1]

He studied at the Sheffield School of Art before moving to London to study sculpture at the Royal College of Art (1908–11) under Edouard Lanteri. Jagger worked as Lanteri's assistant, and also as instructor in modelling at the Lambeth School of Art. He counted among his friends William Reid Dick and William McMillan.[1] His early works dealt with classical and literary themes and were influenced by the New Sculpture movement in the focus on medievalism and on surface qualities.[2] His student work won him a travelling scholarship that made it possible for him to spend several months in Rome and Venice. In 1914 he won the Prix de Rome.[3]

Both his elder sister, Edith, and his younger brother, David were painters.

Military service

When war broke out in 1914, Jagger gave up the Prix de Rome to join the army. At first, Jagger joined the Artists' Rifles, and in 1915 he was commissioned in the Worcestershire Regiment. Jagger served in Gallipoli and on the Western Front, and was wounded three times. He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.

Work as a sculptor

Jagger's style tended towards realism, especially his portrayal of soldiers. The fashion at the time was for idealism and modernism in sculpture, but Jagger's figures were rugged and workman-like, earning him a reputation for 'realist' sculpture.[4] Although Jagger was commissioned as a sculptor of a variety of monuments, it is for his war memorials that he is chiefly remembered.

Whilst convalescing from war wounds in 1919, he began work on No Man's Land, a low relief which is today is part of the Tate Collection.[5] It depicts a "listening post", a technique of trench warfare in which a soldier would hide among the corpses, broken stretchers and barbed wire of No Man's Land, in order to listen for the enemy.

The Royal Artillery Memorial

His Royal Artillery Memorial (1921–25) at Hyde Park Corner in London is one of his best-known works. It features a giant sculpture of a howitzer surrounded by four bronze soldiers and stone relief scenes, and is dedicated to casualties in the British Royal Regiment of Artillery in World War I.[1] When Jagger was commissioned to work on the Royal Artillery Memorial, he remarked to the Daily Express the "experience in the trenches persuaded me of the necessity for frankness and truth".[4]

Monumental works of the period used symbolic figures rather than actual depictions of soldiers. Furthermore, during the war years, a government edict had banned images of dead British soldiers. Jagger defied both these conventions by creating realistic bronze figures of three standing soldiers and the body of a dead soldier laid out and shrouded by a greatcoat.[4] The Gunner became the inspiration for a hero in the children's fantasy novel Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher.

Jagger was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1926.

After the demand for war memorials had subsided, Jagger continued to receive important commissions and his works were increasingly influenced by Art Deco. Some of his works include allegorical stone figures at Imperial Chemical House, London (1928) and The Kelham Rood (1929).

In 1931 Jagger was commissioned by architect Edwin Lutyens to design a sculpture of Christ the King for the designs for Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. The sculpture was never executed because Lutyens' design was extremely costly and funding for the building work ran out. A model of Lutyens' unrealised building is displayed in the Walker Art Gallery.[6][7] Jagger was also commissioned to provide sculptures of elephants and imperial lions for Lutyens' government buildings in New Delhi, India.[1][8]

Jagger produced many smaller works, such as busts, statuettes, reliefs, and exhibited them at the Royal Academy 1913-34, his work continued to be exhibited posthumously, including at the Glasgow Empire Exhibition in 1938.[1]

Charles Sargeant Jagger died suddenly from pneumonia on 16 November 1934. He was in the process of finishing a statue of George V for New Delhi at his death, and work on it was completed by William Reid Dick.[4] A documentary about Jagger's work and featuring this statue of George V was in the process of being filmed by Pathe. This was edited into a short two minute filmic obituary which was released under the title An Unfinished Symphony in Stone.[4] [9]

A touring memorial exhibition was organised by two of his chief patrons in 1935-36 (Freda, Lady Forres and Henry Mond). Two years later a second touring exhibition was arranged called Art of the Jagger Family, which featured sculptures by Charles Sargeant Jagger together with portraits by his brother, David, (also highly successful) and landscapes and flower subjects by his sister, Edith.[4] Thereafter his reputation declined until 1985-86 when a large retrospective exhibition entitled War and Peace Sculpture was held at the Imperial War Museum, with the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield.[1]

Selected works

Some of Jagger's major commissions include the following:[1]

London, United Kingdom
Work Date Image Description Location Notes
No Man's Land 1919–20 No Man's Land Bronze relief of a soldier hiding among the dead bodies, broken stretchers and barbed wire of No Man's Land at 'listening post'. Victoria & Albert Museum Original plaster had a verse: "O, little mighty band that stood for England That with our bodies for a living shield Guarded her slow awakening" (removed in the bronze). On loan from the Tate Collection [1]
Great Western Railway War Memorial 1922 GWR memorial Bronze statue of a soldier reading a letter from home Platform 1, Paddington Station
Royal Artillery Memorial 1925 Royal Artillery Memorial Four bronze figures on Portland stone plinth Hyde Park Corner
Ernest Henry Shackleton Shackleton Statue Bronze figure mounted in wall alcove Royal Geographical Society
The Builder, Marine Transport, Agriculture and Chemistry 1928 a figure on Chemical House Portland stone figure groups on 5th floor balustrade Imperial Chemical House, Millbank
St.George and Britannia 1928 Britannia Portland stone figures on entrance gate Thames House, Millbank
The Kelham Rood 1929 The Kelham Rood Bronze Crucifixion triptych group of Christ, Mary and Mary Magdalen St John the Divine, Kennington Originally sculpted for the chapel at Kelham Hall, Nottinghamshire
The Scandal Relief 1930 Bronze Art Deco relief of embracing figures with accompanying fire basket Victoria & Albert Museum Private commission from Henry Mond, 2nd Baron Melchett for the interior of Mulberry House, Smith Square, Westminster purchased by the museum for £106,000.[10]
United Kingdom outside London
Work Date Image Description Location Notes
Torfrida c.1911 Clifton Park Museum, Rotherham
Guildhall Square Cenotaph 1921 Two stone statues of machine gunners Guildhall Square, Portsmouth [2]
Sculpture of a Sentry 1921 the Sentry Bronze soldier wearing greatcoat and helmet, holding a bayonet Watts Warehouse (now the Britannia Hotel), Manchester A maquette of the Manchester Sentry can also be seen at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Bedford War Memorial 1921 Bedford War Memorial Stone figure of a knight vanquishing a dragon Bedford The monument stands on the Embankment opposite Rothsay Gardens[11]
Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial 1922 Hoylake Memorial Two 3m bronze figures against an 11.5m granite obelisk - hooded woman and infantry soldier holding a bayonet rifle Grange Hill, Hoylake, Merseyside The soldier's bayonet has been removed due to previous vandalism, but is reinstated annually for the Armistice Day Memorial Service.[12]
Brimington War Memorial 1921 Brimington War Memorial Marble Britannia figure, winged helmet, sword and shield; shield decorated with lion, scales and wreath Church of St Michael and All Angels, Brimington, Derbyshire The figure originally stood on a plinth which was later stolen [13]
Monument to Charles Pelham, Lord Worsley 1914 Marble relief of Lord Worsley kneeling at prayer All Saints Church, Brocklesby, Lincolnshire Monument is in the 17th century style to complement the adjacent Pelham family tomb of 1629[14][15]
Christ the King 1931 Maquette for Lutyens' model of his proposal for Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Liverpool Commissioned by Sir Edwin Lutyens and intended for the top of the west front; not executed, but several posthumous metal casts exist.[16] Lutyens' model is at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Work Date Image Description Location Notes
Anglo-Belgian Memorial 1923 Anglo-Belgian Memorial Brussels, Belgium Casts of the reliefs are held at the Imperial War Museum, London
British Memorial, Nieuwpoort 1928 Lions around the Nieuwpoort monument Three stone lions standing guard around a cenotaph Nieuwpoort, Belgium Memorial commemorates 566 soldiers from the Antwerp Expedition of October 1914 and subsequent battles in the area in July 1917.[17]
Cambrai Memorial 1928 Stone relief at Louverval Two stone reliefs depicting soldiers fighting and carrying the wounded in the trenches Louverval Military Cemetery, Cambrai, France Memorial commemorates over 7000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917[18]
Port Tewfik Memorial 1926 Originally at Port Tewfik (or Port Taufiq), Suez Canal, Egypt Jagger's work was destroyed in the Israeli-Egyptian fighting (date uncertain); the memorial was relocated to the Heliopolis War Cemetery.[19]
Shrine of Remembrance Driver and Wipers Two bronze soldiers - Driver holding a horse bridle, and British infantry soldier standing guard with rifle and bayonet. Melbourne, Australia The "Wipers" figure is a re-casting of the soldier from the Hoylake and West Kirby memorial, and the "Driver" is a re-casting from the Royal Artillery Memorial in London.[20]
Viceroy's House and the Jaipur Column 1929 Jaipur Column Mughal-style Elephants in the outer walls; bas-reliefs on the Jaipur Column New Delhi, India Commissioned by Sir Edwin Lutyens[21]

Image gallery

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f g ed. Alan Windsor (1988), British Sculptors of the Twentieth Century, Ashgate Publishing  ISBN 1-85928-456-6
  2. ^ "Jagger, Charles Sargeant". Grove Art online. 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  3. ^ "Jagger, (Charles) Sargeant". Grove Art online. 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Ann Compton (1985), The Sculpture of Charles Sargeant Jagger, Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 0853318646 
  5. ^ "No Man's Land 1919-20". Tate. 2004-08-01. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  6. ^ The Very Greatest Building that was never Built (sourced from
  7. ^ Transcript of audio download of 'Lutyen's Cathedral' talk by Paul O'Keeffe
  8. ^ "Rashtrapati Bhawan (Viceroy Palace)-Best Known Monument of British Empire". Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  9. ^ (FLV) An Unfinished Symphony in Stone (Motion picture). London, United Kingdom: British Pathé. 1935-01-28. Pathé PT 253.  (00:02:26)
  10. ^ ""On display, the sculpture that revealed an aristocrat's guilty secret" by Arifa Akba, The Independent, 18 April 2009". Retrieved April 2009. 
  11. ^ Daniel Stannard/Bedfordshire County Council (2007). "The First World War Memorial, Bedford". Bedfordshire Buildings and Monuments. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  12. ^ Public Monument and Sculpture Association. "War Memorial (Hoylake and West Kirby War Memorial)". National Recording Project. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  13. ^ Douglas Spencer (2002). "A history and guide of St. Michael & All Angels". Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  14. ^ The Church Monuments Society. "Lincolnshire - Brocklesby - All Saints". Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  15. ^ Peter Fairweather. "All Saints Church, Brocklesby and the Church of St. Peter, Great Limber.". Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  16. ^ Julian Treuherz. "The very greatest building that was never built". Apollo Magazine. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  17. ^ "The Belgian Front Line: Nieuwpoort 1914". Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  18. ^ "Louverval Military Cemetery". Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  19. ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commission. "Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial". Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  20. ^ "The Driver and Wipers Memorial". Shrine of Remembrance Education Program. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  21. ^ Christopher Hussey (1953), The Life of Sir Edwin Lutyens, Antique Collectors' Club  ISBN 0-907462-59-6

Further reading

N Penny (November 1981), English Sculpture and the First World War, pp36-42, Oxford Art Journal 

ed. Ann Compton (1985), Charles Sargeant Jagger: War and Peace Sculpture, Imperial War Museum  (exhibition catalogue) ISBN 0901627313

Ann Compton (2004), The Sculpture of Charles Sargeant Jagger, Ashgate Publishing  ISBN 0853318646

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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