Statues and Monuments
and Sidney Herbert
Reporters of the war confronted the British citizens with the poor medical treatment of wounded soldiers, which prompted the Secretary of War, Sidney Herbert, to for the first time send female nurses to the front. One of these nurses was Florence Nightingale, who improved the conditions in the hospitals and saved the lives of numerous soldiers. She is honored with a statue in front of the Crimean War Memorial. She was known as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, that’s why she is depicted holding a lamp in her hand. Next to her is a statue of Sidney Herbert who facilitated Nightingale’s work.
An equestrian statue in the middle of Waterloo Place honors King Edward VII. It was created in 1912-1921 by the Austrialian-born sculptor Bertram Mackennal after his original plans for a massive monument were rejected by George V, Edward VII’s successor.
Several more statues line Waterloo Place on the east and west side. The first statue on the west side, near Carlton House Terrace, is that of John Fox Burgoyne, who fought in the Iberian and Crimean Wars. His statue was created by Joseph Edgar Boehm and installed here in 1877.
Next to him is the statue of John Franklin, an arctic explorer known for his pursuit of finding a route through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the so-called Northwest passage. His last expedition never returned home. Search teams later found all 128 members of the expedition had died, and discovered evidence of extreme hardship and even cannibalism. Despite his failure, Franklin became a hero, hence his statue here. A relief on the pedestal depicts his burial in the Arctic. An inscription below states that he did find the Northwest passage he sacrificed his life for.
The following statue, near the Athenaeum, shows the New Zealander Keith Park, a flying ace during WWI. In WWII he was responsible for the aerial defense of London during the Battle of Britain. The 2010 bronze statue, created by Les Johnson, shows Park readying himself for a flight.
Opposite is the statue of Robert Falcon Scott, an explorer who made two expeditions to Antarctica. In 1912, during the second expedition, he reached the South Pole, only to discover that Amundsen had beaten him to it. Scott and his four companions died on the return trip. The statue of Scott was created by his widow Kathleen Scott and depicts the explorer in a polar outfit.
Next to the statue of Scott is the largest monument on Waterloo Place, dedicated to Colin Campbell. Campbell was a British Army officer who fought in the Peninsula War, the War of 1812, the Opium War, the Anglo-Sikh War and the Crimean War but he is most famous for his role during the Indian Mutiny, when he succeeded in raising the siege at Lucknow in 1857. Ten years later his statue, created by Carlo Marochetti, was unveiled here in Waterloo Place. In front of the granite plinth, on a couchant lion, sits the bronze figure of Brittania.
The next statue, near Carlton House Terrace, depicts John Lawrence, who also played a major role during the Indian Mutiny. In 1864, six years after the suppression of the rebellion Lawrence became Viceroy of India. His statue was created by Joseph Edgar Boehm and erected here in 1882.