National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Allegories of Army, Navy, Air Force and Womens' Services


Type Statue , War Memorial

     The harmony and poise of Toft's monumental and idealised figures, semi-nude and classically draped, complement the classical proportions of the octagonally shaped Hall. In 1926 a critic wrote 'it can truthfully be said that the sculpture is in harmony with the spirit of the architecture. Neither is violent, extravagant or small in its parts.'(1) The statues stand on pedestals of Cornish granite which also forms the base of the building.
     In a competition of 1920, designs for the memorial were invited from Birmingham architects and in November 1921 the winners, S.N. Cooke and W.N. Twist of Paradise Street, were announced.(3) In 1922 their building plans were passed and these clearly show provision for the four statues, although no indication of their nature is given.(4) The completed Hall of Memory, costing £60,000 paid wholly by public subscription, was officially opened on 4th July 1925 by HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught.
     These allegorical statues of the services were designed as an integral part of the Hall of Memory, erected to commemorate the deaths of 12,320 citizens in the Great War.(2)

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Toft, Albert Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Statues Bronze Each: 214 x 143cm

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WMbiBIxx233 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • No damage
Structural condition
  • None
  • None
Road Centenary Square
Precise location Hall of Memory, exterior
A-Z ref None
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1923-1924
Unveiling details unveiled, along with rest of Hall of Memory, 4th July 1925
Commissioned by None
Duty of care Birmingham City Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? Not at risk

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