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A picture of The Thinking Soldier War Memorial
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When was the memorial erected?
Armistice Day 1923 (10.00am). The weather was a fine, sparkling, frosty day.
Who paid for the memorial - private subscription, Huntingdon Council or both?
Neither! The materials for the figure were paid for by Huntingdon Women's Institute and the base and cost of erection by Public Subscription. The actual artistic work was donated by Lady Scott gratis.
Why the unusual pose?
The bronze statue was freely designed and executed by Kathleen, Lady Scott, the widow of Captain Scott of the Antarctic and mother of Sir Peter Scott the famous wildlife/bird expert. It is called "The Thinking Soldier". Be aware that Lady Scott's "nom de plume" as an artist was Mrs Hilton Young! With regard to the pose, Lady Scott had a free hand to design as she wished, and a good job of it she did too!
Was does it represent?
I don't know except perhaps as part of the Mayors address at the time states "Let us trust and hope that our children, and our children's children when they look upon this beautiful statue of a soldier, portraying as I think, not so much of the fighting unit, but rather a soldier deep in thought, may turn their thoughts to those who have set such a grand example of duty nobly done". Personally I think he's contemplating the waste of life that occurred in the war. Who knows?
In 2001 the whole statue received a comprehensive renovation and the stone work of the base was enlarged and replaced. The memorial now has low-level protective railings and is flood-lit and takes pride of place in a £500,000 renovation of the Market Square of which it is centre stage.
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