Sir,—I am glad to see that Mr. G. Dale Oliver is “on the side of the angels” in the matter of Greeny Bank as the best site for a war memorial. I see Mr. Courtenay Hodgson suggests a change of place of flagstaff on Greeny Bank, and a friend of mine who was there last week thinks it could be better placed; but surely the peculiar fall of the ground at Greeny Bank makes it impossible to decide upon the exact spot of the memorial until a decision is arrived at as to the actual form of memorial. Many forms suggest themselves – a little Roman Temple like the Loggia on the terrace at Rivauix Abbey, a column of victory, a great Cumbrian Cross of pre-Norman type, a group of statuary, etc. It goes without saying that until some definite proposal as to the form of memorial is made subscribers will not come forward. I understand that the architects of Carlisle suggested the name of a very competent designer to advise the Committee, but surely the whole point of such advice must depend on whether the monument is to take an architectural or a sculptural form. During my holiday in Provence I saw the most beautiful memorial of Victory from Roman times that probably exists in Europe. It was set up by Julius Caesar at Glanum (now St. Remy) to commemorate the decisive victories of Marius over the Huns in the year 102 B.C., and over the Cimbri in the year 101 B.C. There would be something apposite in placing a small replica of this Roman Memorial of victory in old Roman Stanwix the more so that it is victory over the Huns that we commemorate to-day,—as it was victory over the Huns that Caesar commemorated. But my main object in writing this letter is to call attention to the fact that, if a group of sculpture is decided on, we have in Mr, Derwent Wood a Cumbrian who seems to stand head and shoulders above the younger sculptors of our day. It is true his work is better known in the Colonies than in England, but the Academy has this year honoured itself by honouring him, and at the wish of the Government he went out to the front to make studies of our men in various phases of active fighting. His life-like groups in models were exhibited last year in London and attracted much attention, and the National Fine Arts Collections Fund has just presented a beautiful statue of Atalanta by him to the Manchester Art Gallery. It is certain, of course, that no first-rate artist, will enter any competition, and I presume that before the form of the memorial is definitely decided upon a representative meeting of both city and county will be held at which these matters will be debated.
(Carlisle Journal, 25 May 1920, p. 4)
[This was the last letter to the Press that HDR penned]