07 December 2017

Sir Frederic Kenyon sculpture added to CWGC collection

A bronze portrait bust of Sir Frederic Kenyon has been added to the CWGC archive collection.


The bust donated to the Commission by the family of Sir Frederic is a replica of the sculpture by James Alexander Stevenson in The British Museum Collection. The original sculpture was presented to Sir Frederic when he retired from the Museum in 1930.

Sir Fredric, Director of the British Museum, was appointed as Artistic Adviser to the Commission in November 1917.

One of his first tasks was to decide between the various proposals on the architectural treatment and laying out of cemeteries which had been submitted by the principal architects. In early 1918, he made his recommendations in the report, ‘War Graves. How The Cemeteries Abroad Will Be Designed’, otherwise known as the Kenyon Report, which emphasised equality as the core ideology and outlined the principles the CWGC abides by today.

Andrew Fetherston, CWGC’s archivist, said: “The CWGC is delighted to accept this sculpture into our care and add it to our archive collection. Kenyon was one of the pivotal figures in the formation and early history of the Commission, so it is wonderful to acquire this item during our centennial year. Not only is it significant in terms of the direct link to Kenyon, but the sculptor, J. A. Stevenson, was himself engaged by the Commission to produce sculptures for its memorials, including the Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi and Mombasa African memorials.”

Nairobi African Memorial in Kenya, right, and Dar Es Salaam African Memorial in Tanzania, left

Last month, hundreds of items from the Commission’s treasured archive collection were made available in digital form for the first time. The bust will be added to the archive listing on the new online catalogue and displayed at the Commission’s head office in Maidenhead.

The Commission Archive