We will of course all pause for reflection on the futility of war today of all days. I have always thought the war memorial in Castlegate a particularly beautiful one.
Carrick’s Athene Nike.
It was one of several memorials sculpted by Alexander Carrick who served in the Royal Artillery during WWI.
However, the initial idea for a war memorial was to demolish the Scotsgate and put up bronze plaques either side of the road bearing the names of the dead. Eventually the present site was suggested by the Vicar of St.Mary’s. (The church that stands next door owned the land.)
The statue is not an angel but the Greek goddess of victory, Athene Nike. The figure was modelled on a WWI nurse and physiotherapist called Miss Hunt. Statues of Victory traditionally are quite delicate but Carrick’s view was that it should be more stoic, reflecting the strength of body and mind needed by these brave women. In this respect it is perhaps as much a memorial to them as the fallen.
For more about the sculptor, go to this wonderful new website. There is a section about the Berwick sculpture under the “Bronze” tab in the side menu. http://www.alexandercarricksculptor.co.uk
Here is a clip from the WWI Antiques Roadshow that was broadcast earlier this year. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01wjh5x