Louis Frederick Roslyn

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Louis Frederick Roslyn
(born Louis Frederick Roselieb)
Nurse on Darwen War Memorial.jpg
Darwen War Memorial, Bold Venture Park, Darwen, unveiled 1921.
Born (1878-07-13)13 July 1878
London, England
Died 1934
Nationality English of German extraction
Education Westminster City & Guilds, Royal Academy Schools
Known for Sculpture

Louis Frederick Roslyn, born Louis Frederick Roselieb (13 July 1878 – 1940), was a British sculptor noted for his World War I war memorials and other sculptures. Before beginning his career, he studied at Westminster City & Guilds College and the Royal Academy. He enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in 1915, but for medical or other reasons was put on the reserve until 1917 when he was called to the School of Military Aeronautics and subsequently made Lieutenant. It seems to be during his military service that he finally changed his name to Roslyn.

Personal life[edit]

Louis Frederick Roselieb, later Roslyn, was born on 13 July 1878 in Lambeth, London[1] the son of George Louis Roselieb, a German sculptor who came to England from Germany to work.[nb 1]

Louis Roselieb attended Westminster City & Guilds College before joining the Royal Academy, where in 1905 he was awarded a two year Landseer Scholarship for sculpture. Once he started to practice, his studio was located at "The Studio" in Clapham, London.[1]

From 1906 to 1916 Roslyn worked at The Standard Plating Works in Rosebury Avenue. He was a "Sculptor and Electra Metallurgist".[2] He enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in 1915 under the name of Louis Fritz Roselieb.[2] At the time of his enlistment he was 38 years and 5 months old and his height was 5 feet 6.1/2 inches. His wife was Ethel Roselieb and they had three children, Claude Frederick (12 years), Edward George (9 years) and John Bleckly (3 1/2 years).[2]

At some point during his military service Roselieb changed his surname to Roslyn. It is not entirely clear when this decision was made; the statue of Edward VII had been done under the name Roselieb in 1911, whereas his work on the Imperial Buildings in 1914 was signed Roslyn.[2]

Roslyn executed sculptural work for many war memorials in England and Wales. He also executed a war memorial in Trinidad, West Indies. The Duchess of York and Duchess of Connaught were among those of whom he was commissioned to do portrait busts.[3] He was a Member and then Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. His membership commenced 1914 and his Fellowship commenced in 1923.[1]

Military service[edit]

The young Roselieb, who often added "Vai" to his full name, enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps on 12 December 1915 and he described himself when enlisting as "a sculptor and living in Clapham" and to be working as "a sculptor and electra metallurgist".[2] Rosyln was passed as fit to work on "electro deposition of various metals for use in connection with Aero Engines” and was deemed medically “fit for service anywhere but not combatant service”.[2] Incidentally in his records and with no explanation, it was recorded that Lord Derby did not want Roslyn called up before 1 June 1917.[2]

Having enlisted, Roselieb was put on the reserve, and in June 1917 was called to the School of Military Aeronautics, Royal Flying Corps, Reading, as an Equipment Officer, 3rd Class on probation. As a result of this appointment Roselieb was gazetted as a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant under the name Louis Frederick Roslyn. Subsequently he was promoted to Lieutenant.[2][4] His record is part of the AIR 76 series.[2]

Works prior to 1914[edit]

Work Location Notes and References
Memorial Fountain Aspatria. Cumbria Roselieb/Roslyn carried out sculptural work on a memorial fountain at Aspatria in 1908. This fountain was erected in honour of Sir Wilfred Lawson and was inlaid with four bronze tablets. One is a composition entitled "Peace" and another composition is entitled "Temperance". Another of the plaques features a bust of Sir Wilfred himself and the fourth gives a brief summary of Sir Wilfred's life. At the top of the memorial is a figure of St George and the Dragon. A horse drinking-trough stands at the front of the memorial.[5] See photographs below.
Bust of Sir Wilfred Lawson, Bart Whereabouts unknown This bust was exhibited at Royal Hibernian Academy's Annual Exhibition of 1908.[6]
Case of Medals - Bronze Whereabouts unknown A work entitled "Case of Medals-Bronze" was exhibited at Royal Hibernian Academy's Annual Exhibition of 1908.[7]
Dawn Whereabouts unknown In 1906 a bronze relief under the name of "Dawn" was exhibited at the Corporation of Manchester Art Gallery on the occasion of their Twenty-Fourth Autumn Exhibition. The piece was priced at £2 2s.[8]
Head of a Young Girl Whereabouts unknown This 1908 piece was exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition.[9]
Imperial Buildings Kingsway London The sculptures above the two entrances to Imperial Buildings were signed under the name Roslyn and dated 1914/1915.[10][11] Some photographs are shown below.
Memorial Fountain to Robert Fenwick and Harry Pollard Ashby Wandle Park. Surrey Roselieb/Roslyn worked on the classical water carrier added to the memorial fountain dedicated in memory of Robert Fenwick and Harry Pollard Ashby in Wandle Park which commemorated their pioneering and benevolent work. It is fashioned in Italian marble, with granite steps and a Portland Stone base. On the top once stood Roselieb's classical figure of the water-carrier but this no longer exists. The unveiling ceremony was performed on 14 June 1911 by Mrs. Charles Maffett, the daughter of Mr. Fenwick and grand-daughter of Mr. Ashby, and the water turned on by Mr. Cuthbert Maffett - Mr. Fenwick's grandson.[12]
Prometheus Unbound Whereabouts unknown This work was mentioned in a summary of all works shown at the Royal Academy from 1906-1910 but its present whereabouts is unknown.[13]
Statue of Edward VII[14] Tooting Surrey This was Roselieb or Roslyn's first major commission and stands outside Tooting Broadway Underground Station in South London. The statue was unveiled in 1911[15] In the gallery below are photographs of the two reliefs entitled "Charity" and the other "Peace" which are on either side of the plinth upon which the statue stands.
The Struggle Whereabouts unknown This work was exhibited at the 1912 Royal Academy Exhibition.[16]

Images for Roslyn's Edward VII Statue, Imperial Building sculpture and Aspatria Fountain[edit]

War memorials[edit]

Work Image Location Notes and References
Basingstoke War Memorial Basingstoke War Memorial.jpg Basingstoke, Hampshire Roslyn carried out the sculptural work for this memorial.[17]
Bexhill War Memorial Bexhill War Memorial.jpg Bexhill, East Sussex On the Bexhill promenade in East Sussex, Roslyn's winged “Victory” figure is placed in front of an obelisk. The memorial was unveiled on 12 December 1920 by Brigadier General H O’Donnell.[18] Photograph shown courtesy Justin Bailey.
Blackley War Memorial Blackley, Manchester Roslyn carried out the sculptural work on Blackley's War Memorial. The memorial features a winged “Victory” bronze surmounting a tall pedestal. The whole work stands on a broad stone base with pillars at the four corners on which are four smaller figures holding emblems which represent the Army, Navy, Air Force and Nursing Services. Sadly these figures are now missing. The pillars are linked by chain link railings which enclose the area. The memorial was unveiled on 28 May 1921.[19]
Buxton Buxton War Memorial 2.jpg Buxton, Derbyshire On Buxton's memorial, Roslyn again features a bronze figure representing “Victory”. The memorial was unveiled on 18 September 1920 by Lieut General Sir Ivor Maxse.[20] Photograph courtesy "melodysparks"
Calverley War Memorial Calverly War Memorial.jpg Calverley, West Yorkshire In Victoria Park, Calverley, on the Carr Road, Roslyn's memorial has a bronze “Victory” figure and was unveiled on 28 May 1922. Photograph shown courtesy "Rubber rat productions"[21] See note on Greengates.
Clitheroe War Memorial Clitheroe War Memorial.jpg Clitheroe The Clitheroe memorial, which stands in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle in Lancashire, features a bronze soldier standing in mourning pose his head bowed and fire-arm reversed.[22] Image courtesy "Jaxpix 50".
Darwen War Memorial Nurse on Darwen War Memorial.jpg Darwen, Lancashire The Darwen memorial again features the “Victory” bronze and also has bronze relief panels set into the sides of the pedestal. Unveiled on 27 September 1921 by a Mrs.Chadwick. The photograph shown is one of the Darwen reliefs and features a nurse.[23]
Denholme War Memorial Denholme War Memorial.jpg Denholme, West Yorkshire Roslyn carried out the sculptural work on this War Memorial which was unveiled on 11 November 1922 by Colonel Sugden.[24] The Memorial involves a bronze featuring a serviceman standing head bowed and with arms reversed.
Edmonton War Memorial Edmonton, North London Roslyn carried out the sculptural work on this War Memorial. It was unveiled by Air Vice Marshall Sir Philip Game on 26 October 1924.[25]
Greengates War Memorial

Greengates War Memorial.jpg

Greengates, West Yorkshire At Greengates and in the Garden of Remembrance on the Harrogate Road, we have a winged bronze “Victory" figure unveiled on 5 November 1921 by Lt.Col Alderman Anthony Gadie. The memorial is dedicated to the men of both Greengates and Apperley Bridge who fell in the First World war. "FREEDOM" "HONOUR" "JUSTICE" AND "PEACE" are carved at the top of the column. Photograph courtesy "Speccy beardy".[26] At the time of the unveiling, the figure was described as representing “peace gained through sacrifice”. Roslyn worked on the overall design with a local retired architect, E. Wright. This is one of three similar compositions in the area, the others being in the park at Calverley, a few miles away over the municipal boundary in Leeds, and at Wetherby, where the memorial sits on the bridge. Each of the figures has details which make reference to classical depictions of Athene in her role as the "bringer of victory". In 2003, the Greengates memorial was threatened by a road-widening scheme and a local resident approached Sir Donald Thompson for advice. The Trust’s Conservation Officer, in collaboration with a Regional Volunteer, made a successful application for the memorial to be listed and as a result all three of Roslyn’s "Yorkshire ladies" are now listed Grade II.[27]
Haslingden War Memorial Haslingden 4-1-.jpg Haslingden, Lancashire At Haslingdean in Lancashire, Roslyn's composition reverts to a soldier standing over a wounded comrade. The photograph is of a plaque which stands next to the memorial.[28]
Holyhead War Memorial Holyhead, Gwynedd The memorial in Victoria Square, Holyhead in Gwynedd, takes the form of a Cenotaph and features a bronze relief of a soldier and another of a sailor. Unveiled 15 September 1923 by Sir R.H.Williams-Bulkeley.[29]
Ipswich Oddfellows Memorial Plaque Ipswich, Suffolk Roslyn also worked on a bronze memorial plaque to the 254 men of the Oddfellows district of Ipswich who died in the First World War but this has disappeared.[30]
Kenfig Hill and Pyle War Memorial Kenfig, Mid Glamorgan Wales Roslyn carried out the sculptural work on this War Memorial.[31] It was unveiled in November 1925 by Major-General Sir Thomas O Marden. Roslyn features a bronze figure of "Victory" in his composition. One raised hand holds a wreath and the other a baton.
Little Common War Memorial Little Common, Sussex At Little Common in East Sussex, Roslyn executed a simple granite memorial unveiled on 21 November 1920 by Major General Sir John Longley.[32]
Maesteg War memorial Maesteg War Memorial.jpg Maesteg, Mid-Glamorgan, Wales Roslyn carried out the sculptural work on the Maesteg War Memorial which was unveiled on 11 November 1926 by Major-General Sir Thomas O Marden. A soldier stands “on guard” over a wounded comrade.[33]
Oswaldtwistle War Memorial Oswaldtwistle War Memorial.jpg Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire At Oswaldtwistle, Roslyn combines the bronze “Victory” figure with a soldier defending a wounded comrade and also has bronze figures seated on the prow of ships which project from the pedestal. These two figures represent the Royal Navy and the RAF. Unveiled on 14 January 1922 by Major General H Shoubridge. Here we see a photograph of the Oswaldtwistle work. A soldier stands protectively over a wounded colleague.[34]
Port Talbot War Memorial Port Talbot War Memorial Talbot Park.jpg Port Talbot The memorial at Port Talbot has a “Victory” bronze figure at the top and bronze relief panels on three sides. In one relief Roslyn features a male figure holding a wreath and sword, in another a female figure features with child and lamb and in the third a draped female figure holds a palm and lamp and a further frieze depicts marching soldiers carrying wounded comrades past battlefield crosses. The Port Talbot memorial was unveiled on 4 July 1925 by Field Marshal Sir William R Robertson. Photograph courtesy "C J Mellows".[35]
Portstewart War Memorial Portstewart War Memorial.jpg Portstewart, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland Roslyn features a soldier in service dress with rifle raised.[36] Photograph shown courtesy "hondarider 13".
Rawtenstall War Memorial Rawtenstall collage.jpg Rawtenstall, Lancashire Roslyn executed the sculptural work on this memorial in St Marys Church Memorial Gardens, St Marys Way, Rawtenstall, Lancashire. The memorial consists of an obelisk at the foot of which are mounted four high relief panels. One features a soldier, a farm labourer, a woman and child and a wren, another an airman, two nurses, a labourer, and a servicewoman , another a medical orderly, miner, sailor and an officer and the final panel features coal miners, and railwaymen. A Miss Carrie Whitehead unveiled the memorial on 29 June 1929. A montage of photographs of the Rawtenstall War Memorial is shown on the left.[37]
Royal Marines Museum Lumsden.jpg Portsmouth, Hampshire Roslyn was the sculptor of the memorial to Brigadier General F.W.Lumsden,V.C.,C.B.,D.S.O. in the Royal Marines Museum[38] Photograph courtesy "greentool2002".
St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland Roslyn completed a bronze plaque for this Scottish Cathedral with an inscription in relief. Two female figures are depicted in low relief. Both are holding large banners in one hand. The figure on the left kneels with head bowed and holds a wreath in her other hand. The other figure holds a dagger.[39]
St Peter and St Paul Church Tonbridge, Kent Roslyn executed a memorial plaque for this Tonbridge church. The plaque remembers those men of Tonbridge who fell in the Second Boer War.[40]
Swanley War Memorial Swanley, Kent At Swanley in Kent by St Mary the Virgin Church, we again find Roslyn using a bronze “Victory” figure. The Swanley War memorial was unveiled in 1922 and amongst the names recorded is that of Staff-Paymaster Joseph Gedge, a Swanley man, who was killed in action on 6 August 1914 when his ship HMS "Amphion" sank in the Thames Estuary after hitting a German mine. Gedge was the first British officer killed in action in World War 1. Indeed a "Gedge Medal" named in honour of Joseph Gedge was subsequently issued.[41][42]
Tottenham War Memorial Tottenham War Memorial.jpg Tottenham, London At Tottenham in North London Roslyn carried out the sculptural work on the local War Memorial.[43] Photograph shown courtsey "Failing Angel".
Wetherby War Memorial Wetherby War Memorial.jpg Wetherby, Yorkshire The memorial at Wetherby stands on the Boston Road and features a winged “Victory” figure in bronze with a wreath held aloft in her left hand. Unveiled on 22 April 1922 by the Right Honourable Earl of Harewood.[44] Photograph courtesy "Speccy beardy". See Greengates and Calverley.

Other works[edit]

Work Image Location Notes and References
Artillery House Roslyn's mortar at Artillery Row..JPG Westminster London Small sculpture of a First World War Howitzer can be found over the buildings entrances.[45]
New Bond Street Sculpture Roslyn's Commerce in New Bond Street..JPG New Bond Street London Roslyn carried out some sculptural works over the premises of 70-71 New Bond Street in London. One composition is entitled "Commerce" and the other "Art". Photographs of these two works are shown below. There is a third statue above the premises entitled "Science".[46]
Norway House.[47] Norway House.JPG Cockspur Street London In London and above Norway House in Cockspur Street, by Trafalgar Square, there are four reliefs by Roslyn. The building was designed in 1914 and at the time no particular tenant had been identified so there is no particular reference in the reliefs to Norway itself. The compositions cover the themes of "Industry", "Transport", "Communications" and "Commerce".[48] In the photograph to the left a woman sits spinning and factory chimneys belch out smoke, The relief dedicated to "Industry".

Further images Roslyn's work Kingsway, New Bond Street and Norway House[edit]


  1. ^ At the National Archives in Kew, England and under reference HO 144/407/B23762 are papers which cover George Louis Roselieb's Naturalisation. We learn that at the time of his naturalisation, Roselieb had lived in England for 23 years, that he had been born in Hanover on 20 March 1897 and had practised as an architectural sculptor and carver. At the time of naturalisation he had two sons, Louis Fitz (sic) Vai Roselieb (18 years of age) and Gustav Karl Roselieb (16 years of age). He worked at the Clayton Works in Kennington. At the time of naturalisation Roselieb’s address was in Clapham.


  1. ^ a b c Louis Frederick Roslyn. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Louis Frederick Rosleib's Royal Airforce Service Record AIR 76, Reel 436, National Archives, Kew. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NA-File" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NA-File" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Louis Roslyn. Archived 10 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. PMSA Artists' Biographies. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  4. ^ Supplement to London Gazette London Gazette. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  5. ^ Aspatria. English Lakes. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  6. ^ Sir Wilfred Lawson Bart. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  7. ^ Case of Medals-Bronze. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  8. ^ Dawn. The bronze relief called "Dawn". Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  9. ^ Head of Young Girl. Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  10. ^ Kingsway The Victorian Web. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  11. ^ Kingsway 2. Victorian Web. Retrieved 27 August 2012
  12. ^ Robert Bloomfield Fenwick.[permanent dead link] Saints Church Wimbledon. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  13. ^ Prometheus Unbound. Archived 13 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Royal Academy. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  14. ^ Edward VII The Victorian Web. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  15. ^ Edward VII British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Sculptures from 'Academy Architecture', 1909–1912; a collection of all the sculptures published in vols. 35–42 of "Academy Architecture". Royal Academy 1912. Retrieved 26 August 2012
  17. ^ Basingstoke UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012
  18. ^ Bexhill UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  19. ^ Blackley UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012
  20. ^ Buxton UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  21. ^ Calverley UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  22. ^ Clitheroe UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  23. ^ Darwen UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  24. ^ Denholme UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  25. ^ Men of Edmonton UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  26. ^ Greengates UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  27. ^ Greengates War Memorials website. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  28. ^ Haslingdean UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  29. ^ Holyhead UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012
  30. ^ Ipswich Oddfellows UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  31. ^ Kenfig Hill and Pyle UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  32. ^ Little Common UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012
  33. ^ Maesteg Servicemen Statue UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  34. ^ Oswaldtwistle UKNIWM Reporr. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  35. ^ Port Talbot UKNIWM Report. 27 August 2012.
  36. ^ Portstewart UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  37. ^ Rawtenstall WW1 and WW2 UKNIWM report. 27 August 2012.
  38. ^ Royal Marines Museum Archived 19 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Museum Website. Retrieved 27 August 2012
  39. ^ Scottish Nurse WWI UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  40. ^ Tonbridge and District- Boer War Plaque UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  41. ^ Swanley UKNIWM report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  42. ^ Gedge British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 27 August.
  43. ^ Tottenham UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  44. ^ Wetherby UKNIWM Report. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  45. ^ Artillery House Artillery Row Architectural Review. Retrieved 27 August 2012
  46. ^ New Bond Street The Victorian Web. Retrieved 27 August 2012
  47. ^ Norway House The Victorian Web. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  48. ^ Norway House The Victorian Web. Retrieved 27 August 2012