Ferdinand Victor Blundstone

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Ferdinand Victor Blundstone
Folkestone War Memorial.jpg
EducationSouth London Technical Art School, Royal Academy Schools
Known forSculpture

Ferdinand Victor Blundstone (1882–1951) was a Swiss-born sculptor who worked in England. His father was Charles Blundstone, an India rubber merchant who was born in Manchester, England.[1] He studied at the South London Technical Art School and Royal Academy Schools.

Blundstone's works include portraits and sculptures. After the Great War he executed several war memorials, including Folkestone War Memorial (now Grade II* listed).


Blundstone studied Art at Ashton-under-Lyne and then at South London Technical Art School before entering the Royal Academy Schools. There his awards included the Landseer Scholarship which he was awarded in 1904 for one of his sculptures. He won a second place prize for a model in 1905. Two years later he was awarded a one-year Landseer Scholarship. Also in 1907 he won a traveling studentship of £200 and a gold medal.[1][2]

Private life[edit]

Blundstone lived in Manchester in about 1908.[1] He may have lived in Heaton Chapel (northern part of Stockport in Greater Manchester) with his family during World War I.[3] London was his home from about 1919 to 1951.[1]


When Blundstone established himself as a sculptor, he had studios in London and in 1907 moved to Stamford Bridge Studios. In about 1907 he had a studio at Clifton Hill Studio and in 1918 he moved to St. John's Wood.[1]


The following is a partial list of Blundstone's works.

Work Location Notes and References
The age of imagination This work dates to 1927.[1]
Boy with fruit Again dates to 1927.[1]
Design for a Garden Figure It is unknown when this design was created.[1]
Figure of Diana The bronze sculpture, now with a patina of "greenish/chocolate brown" depicts Diana with a fawn and a gazelle. The sculpture sits on a plinth of green marble. It is signed by Blundstone.[4]
Folkestone War Memorial Folkestone, Kent The Folkestone War stands in The Leas area of Folkestone in Kent and was unveiled on 1 December 1922 by the Earl of Radnor. A bronze figure representing "Motherhood" holds in one hand a pole with a flag at half mast and a cross. A victory laurel is raised in her other hand. She sits on a stone pedestal.[5]

The inscription reads:


The Folkestone Harbour Station, the British end of the Boulogne-Folkestone crossing, was a main point of departure and return during World War I for millions of soldiers and nurses.[6]

Gnome Monument, Bowring Park St John's Newfoundland Blundstone was responsible for the "Gnome" Monument on top of the Connaught Stone.[7]
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel The date of this work is unknown.[1]
Memorial to Wilmcot Clifford Pilsbury The date of this work is unknown.[1]
The Newfoundland National War Memorial St John's Newfoundland This huge memorial was unveiled on 1 July 1924 by Field Marshal Douglas Haig. A bronze figure stands on the top of the memorial representing "Freedom" and another four figures stand around this central figure. Blundstone was responsible for the bronze figures on the top and those on each side. Gilbert Bayes executed the bronzes at the front of the memorial.[8]
The Plimsoll Line Memorial Victoria Embankment . London This memorial stands at the Westminster end of the Victoria Embankment and Blundstone was commissioned to do the work by the National Union of Seamen. The memorial was unveiled on 21 August 1929 by Sir Walter Runciman. The "Order of Ceremonial" declared that the memorial was erected by the Members of the National Union of Seamen as a thanks offering to Samuel Plimsoll for his successful efforts in having the Plimsoll Load line, which prevented overloading of cargo, placed on all British ships. Plimsoll became known as "the Sailors' Friend".

The piece includes "Justice" represented in the form of a woman and a seaman, both holding wreaths.[9][10][11][nb 1]

The Prudential War Memorial Holborn London This memorial dates to 1922 and remembers the employees of Prudential Assurance who laid down their lives in the First World War.[12] A second memorial just nearby remembers those who died in the 1939–1945 conflict.[3][13]
Lewis Carroll majolica panels, St Mary's Hospital Paddington London Blundstone was responsible for majolica panels in the Lewis Carroll Memorial Ward at this hospital.[14]
The Stalybridge War Memorial Stalybridge Cheshire This memorial to the men of Stalybridge was unveiled on 10 November 1920 and Blundstone was responsible for the bronze groupings of dying soldiers and sailors being comforted by angels.[15]
Tiger at Bay This was made in collaboration with Herbert Thomas Dicksee in 1905.[1]
Tyne Cot Memorial Tyne Cot Cemetery Belgium This huge First World War Cemetery was designed by Sir Herbert Baker. Tyne Cot is an enormous cemetery with 11,953 graves of which 8,366 contain the remains of soldiers who could not be identified. The Tyne Cot Memorial lists the 34,888 names which could not be fitted on the Menin Gate listings. These were men who went missing, were presumed dead and had no known grave. Within Tyne Cot are memorials to the New Zealanders who fell in the Battle of Broodseinde and the First Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 and another to the 2nd Australian Division. Blundstone and John Armitage were the sculptors of all the decoration involved with the memorial.[16]
Titanic Engineers' Memorial, Southampton Andrew's Park Blundstone created a memorial of Aberdeen granite, funded by world-wide donations by merchant marine engineers, to the engineers of the Titanic who perished on its fateful night. Featured on the memorial is the figure of Glory, her hands reaching out with a laurel wreath to the struggling men below in the Titanic engine room. The 5.7 metre tall and 10 metre wide memorial, designed by Joseph Whitehead, is situated on a "gentle crescent" in a corner of Andrew's Park. It was unveiled on 22 April 1914.[17]
Wendy statue (Peter Pan) Hawera, New Zealand This sculpture, one of his final works, was made for Hawera's King Edward Park. It was completed with the assistance of Gilbert Bayes.[3][18]


Professional associations[edit]

Blundstone (died 1951) was a member of the following associations:[1]

  • 1919 - 1951 - Member of Royal Society of British Sculptors
  • 1921 - 1923 - Member of council Royal Society of British Sculptors
  • 1924 - 1931 - Member of Art Workers Guild
  • 1926 - 1951 - Fellow of Royal Society of British Sculptors
  • 1935 - 1936 - Member of council Royal Society of British Sculptors

Exhibits and competitions[edit]

Blundstone exhibitions entries include portraits, statues, trophies and war memorials:

  • 1903 - 'Tiger at Bay' shown at the Corporation of Manchester Art Gallery, Twenty-First Autumn Exhibition[1]
  • 1907 - Jacob Wrestling with the Angel was shown at Corporation of Manchester Art Gallery, Twenty-Fifth Autumn Exhibition[1]
  • 1907 - 1944 - at The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts (Summer Exhibition)[1]
  • 1908 - Multiple works exhibited at Leeds City Art Gallery, The Spring Exhibition[1]
  • 1916 - Design for a Garden Figure shown at Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society: Eleventh Exhibition[1]
  • 1925 - For his garden sculpture, he won the Paris Exhibition's silver medal.[3]
  • 1927 - The age of imagination was shown at The Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, The One-Hundred-and-First[1]

His competition attendance included:[1]

  • 1904 - Landseer Scholarships (Royal Academy of Arts) (Won)
  • 1907 - Landseer Scholarships (Royal Academy of Arts) (Won)
  • 1920 - Folkstone Memorial Competition (Folkestone Council), 1920 (Won)
  • 1931-1932 - Memorial for Animals, for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Royal Society of British Sculptors) (Participant, awarded £20)


  1. ^ The National Archives in London holds Ministry of Works papers which record the events surrounding the commissioning and erection of this memorial. See File WORK 20/187, which can be seen by appointment.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Ferdinand Victor Blundstone. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  2. ^ Landseer Scholarship. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Wyke, Terry. Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester. Liverpool University Press. pp. 238–239. ISBN 0-85323-567-8.
  4. ^ Ferdinand Victor Blundstone - Figure Of Diana. Arcadja Auctions. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b Folkestone War Memorial. UKIWM website entry. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  6. ^ The Folkestone Harbour Station Canteen and the Visitors' Books. Kent War Memorials Transcription Project. p. 1. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  7. ^ History of Bowring Park: Gnome Monument. Newfoundland Tourist Board. Retrieved 22 August 2012. Refers erroneously to "Edmund Blundstone".
  8. ^ National War Memorial. Eastern Newfoundland Geotourism MapGuide. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  9. ^ Engineers.html Engineers: Samuel Plimsoll. Secret London. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  10. ^ Morris Singer commissions - 1926 to 1950: Ferdinand V Blundstone's Samuel Plimsoll. Zahra Modern Art Foundries. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  11. ^ Monument: Samuel Plimsoll. London Remembers. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  12. ^ Prudential War Memorial. The Victorian Web. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  13. ^ Prudential Assurance Second World War Memorial. The Courtauld Institute of Art. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  14. ^ Nursing Echoes: St Mary's Hospital. RCN archive: British Journal of Nursing. 318 December 1937. p. 318. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  15. ^ Stalybridge War Memorial. Public Monuments & Sculpture Association (PMSA). Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  16. ^ Tyne Cot Memorial. Website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  17. ^ Maxtone-Graham, John. (2012). Titanic Tragedy: A New Look at the Lost Liner. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 180–183. ISBN 0-393-08240-7.
  18. ^ Ferdinand Victor Blundstone: A bronze figure. Artfact. Retrieved 18 August 2012.

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