Midland Railway War Memorial, Derby
|Midland Railway War Memorial|
|For The Great War|
|Unveiled||15 December 1921|
|Designed by||Sir Edwin Lutyens (architect)|
The Midland Railway War Memorial was erected in 1921 to commemorate employees of the Midland Railway killed during The Great War. As the company had its Headquarters in Derby at the time, the memorial is located adjacent to Derby railway station, in front of the Midland Hotel on Midland Road. The Memorial cost £10958 in 1920 and was built by Parnell and Son.
During the war, 22941 employees of the Company enlisted, 7068 were wounded and 2833 killed. The names of the dead are inscribed on the memorial and published in a contemporaneous book. A copy of the book complete with a line drawing of the memorial was sent to the families of the dead along with a free travel pass to the parents, widows and children of the fallen in order to see the memorial.
The memorial is a Cenotaph of Portland stone 31 feet in height, with semi-columns supporting the prostate body of a fighting man, laid to rest, on a catafalque mounted on the heads of four lions. The coat of arms of the Midland Railway sits inside a wreath located on either side. The inscription is carved at the front and reads
THE BRAVE MEN
THE GREAT WAR
Each side is carved with MCM XIV † XIX (1914 - 1919)
The Cenotaph is flanked by a 7 foot high wall, set back from the road to form two rectangular alcoves, each 20 feet wide by 10 feet deep. Attached to the back wall of these alcoves are bronze plaques inscribed with the names of the 2833 dead with a small step in front, to allow children to view the names of the fallen close-up. The names are listed in alphabetical order with no indication of military rank or service.
Two men were jailed in 2010 for stealing four bronze plaques from the Memorial. The plaques were recovered  and restored by Network Rail and the Railway Heritage Trust at a cost of £18,000. A service of re-dedication took place on 17 December 2010 using the original Prayer of Dedication from the 1921 service, read by the Rev James Lindsay.
State of Preservation
The memorial is known locally only as “The Statue” and although the Cenotaph has been refurbished, the remainder of the site is neglected suffering from vandalism, litter and a general lack of care. As the site is North facing it remains damp, attracting moss which makes the whole area look dirty. The rear of the Memorial is overgrown with shrubbery from the adjacent hotel gardens and the surrounding area is rundown and impoverished.
Since 2002, responsibility for the maintenance of the memorial has lain with Network Rail.
- Imperial War Museum Memorial Archive : Ref: 893
- Derby, - Midland Railway Casualties at the Yorkshire Regiment.org.uk
- List of the dead & a line drawing of the memorial
- Extra Information on the dedication service at Church.Net
- English Heritage Building ID: 403266
- Derbyshire British Legion backs protecting war memorials
- Jailed WWI plaques thief apologizes to people of Derby
- Railway War Memorial Rededication
- Service of rededication after vandalism damage