Prince Edward unveils Liverpool Pals sculpture

Re-enactment of call to arms exactly 100 years on

Written by  The Confidentials | Follow @ | Tuesday, 19 August 2014 10:02

SCULPTOR TOM Murphy, he of the Ken Dodd, Moores brothers, Bassie Bradock statues and more, which dot the city, has been spending his time of late, carving one of his more sober works.

His memorial to the Liverpool Pals, who served during World War One, is the result of a three year campaign to create a permanent tribute to remember the men and boys who volunteered during the Great War.

It will get the Royal nod of approval when it is unveiled by HRH The Earl of Wessex, aka Pince Edward, at the end of the month.

The £85,000 frieze, funded through donations driven by The Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund, will be revealed on Sunday August 31, at 11am, in front of an invited audience on the main concourse at Lime Street railway station.

Following the unveiling, the focus will shift to St George’s Plateau from 11:30am, where a re-enactment of the Liverpool Pals signing up will take place - exactly 100 years to the day since it happened, in answer to Lord Derby’s call for recruits.  

During the re-enactment, part of the plateau will be transformed into an attestation centre, a trench and a field hospital to symbolize the different elements of the conflict.

More than 1,000 men were recruited on 31 August 1914 alone. Over 6,000 men were initially signed up in 1914 – enough soldiers to serve in four battalions and for two reserve battalions. Many were killed in action and never returned home.

Lt Col (retd) Anthony Hollingsworth MBE, Chair of The Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund, said: “We are delighted and proud that through people’s kind donations we are able to provide a fitting memorial to those brave men and boys, albeit 100 years on.

“It will allow everybody to share the proud history of the Liverpool Pals, who were the first of all the famous Pals battalions and the last to be stood down.”

The memorial tells the story of the Liverpool Pals through a series of dramatic images - from their formation through to their emotional farewells when they left the city, onward to scenes from the battlefield, their return from war and the commemoration this year.

Sculptor Tom Murphy, who has also created memorials to Hillsborough, The Liverpool Blitz and Noel Chavasse VC. said: It has been a privilege to be chosen to sculpt the Liverpool Pals Memorial and I have ensured that the theme of remembrance permeates the entire work.

“Each figure depicted is lost in their own memories of someone or somewhere dear to them - friends, loved ones or simply home. It is fitting to have this artwork of remembrance at this major gateway to honour those brave men and boys that did not make it back home.”