Passing Hatton Garden jewellers? View the Royal Fusiliers Memorial!

10/08/2015

If you have ever been shopping in Hatton Garden jewellers quarter, you may have seen the Royal Fusiliers War Memorial on your way there. But what does this statue represent? And who was the artist behind it?

 

Albert Toft, born 1862, is the artist who created the Royal Fusiliers War Memorial. Born into a family of pottery artists, it was of no real surprise that Toft soon developed a keen interest in sculptures himself. Having spent many years developing his skills and undergoing an apprenticeship to gain valuable practical experience, Albert became a noted sculptor in the field. It was his ability to portray emotion in his work that proved most powerful and eye catching. Given the time period in which Toft sculpted, the 2nd Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and the Great War (1914-1919) provided an upsurge in demand for such memorial work. It was the Great War which inspired his Holborn situated piece.

 

Walking down the long road of Hatton Garden jewellers today, it is difficult to imagine London during the years of the First World War. The Royal Fusiliers War Memorial stands in honour of the 21,941 Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) who sadly lost their lives in the Great War, and for those who later fell in the Second World War (1939-1945) and other conflicts since. The beautiful bronze statue is modelled on Sgt. Cox, an earlier Royal Fusilier who had fought during the First World War. The statue’s victorious character is said to guard the entrance to the City of London, and is a much admired local landmark.

 

There is much written in the history books about the impact of both the First and Second World Wars, ranging from the use of the underground network during bombing raids to the courageous deeds undergone to keep London ticking along in these fierce battles. For the history lovers out there, the Royal Fusiliers War Memorial provides a fitting tribute to the strength of character displayed during these troubled years that will never be forgotten.

 

The next time you are passing Hatton Garden jewellers, why not take five minutes out of your day to admire this beautiful statue? A short stroll from Hatton Garden makes it incredibly accessible too!

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