The Response 1914 memorial is an impressive Grade I listed memorial which was unveiled by the Prince of Wales as part of a visit that he made to the city in July 1923. The memorial was commissioned by Sir George and Lady Renwick and given to the city in 1923 to commemorate three events: the raising of the Commercial Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers; the return of the five Renwick sons from the war; and Sir George Renwick’s attainment of 50 years of commercial life on Newcastle Quayside.
Described by Alan Borg, a former Director General of the Imperial War Museum as “one of the finest sculptural ensembles on any British monument.” Goscombe John designed ‘The Response 1914′ as a narrative sculpture depicting soldiers marching off to war watched by ‘Renown’ while women and children bid them farewell.
'Non Sibi Sed Patriae' (Not for Self but for Country)
The memorial is a portrayal of the spirit of 1914 and the patriotic confidence as they entered the War.
“The Response”, or the Renwick War Memorial, is a large pale granite monument with a group sculpture or frieze of bronze showing soldiers leaving for war. The thirty figures are sculptured nearly in the round. A drummer boy at the front beats a drum and most of the men carry guns over their shoulders. Children run alongside the group as the soldiers say farewell to their families and above the men a winged figure blows a horn. There is an inscription in the stone of the plinth below the sculpture.
On the rear of the memorial there is a low relief carving of St George in medieval military dress with a lance and a shield, standing on a pair of intertwined sea horses (the supporters on the city’s coat of arms). He is flanked by two shields on which are depicted the city’s coat of arms, and either side of these are carvings of soldiers in seventeenth and nineteenth century dress. The memorial stands on a three-stepped base and is surrounded by flower beds. It stands beside St Thomas the Martyr church, in front of the Civic Centre and by Barras Bridge.
The drummer boy on the memorial was believed to be modelled on Wilfred John Matthews who enlisted in 1919 as a drummer boy in the Coldstream Guards and an old newspaper article confirms that many of the faces were drawn from Identity Certificate photos.
Did you know that The Response memorial features on one of the First World War 1914 centenary stamps issued by the Royal Mail in 2014?
As this is a multi cache you need to look at the memorial and the information board nearby in order to answer these questions. You can then find the cache a short walk away at N 54° 58.ABC W 001° 36.DEF
A =The third digit of the year of the original Northumberland Fusilier depicted on the rear of the memorial
B =The memorial commemorates raising of the 9th, 16th, 19th and one other battalion as shown on the rear of the memorial, what is the last digit of the missing battalion number?
C =The last digit of the year the memorial was unveiled
D =Number of letters in the last latin word on the front of the memorial
E =From the information board nearby what is the last digit of the year the sculptor was born?
F =From the information board nearby subtract the second digit from the first digit of the number of raised battalions
To help check your answers the total of A+B+C+D+E+F should come to 28
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