Meanwhile, back in London…
The column memorial in front of Westminster Abbey commemorates Lord Raglan, Fitzroy James Henry Someset along with other former pupils from the Westminster School who died in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny–known as the War of Independence 1857 from the standpoint of the Indian people who were “colonized” by the British. Lord Raglan was the commander of the British troops during the Crimean War. He was wounded at Waterloo in 1815 and his right arm amputated. Following the assault on Sebastopol in 1855, he died from dysentery–a fate shared by General Havelock following the Indian campaign to put down the revolt and regain British control of the country.
The sculptures represent Saint George slaying the dragon at the top of the column, by John Richard Clayton. Other sculptures are by John Birnie Philip and George Gilbert Scott was the architect. The other sculptures:
- Edward the Confessor, king from 1042-1272, and who founded the monastery known at Westminster Abbey and is enshrined there.
- Henry III, became king at age 9 in 1216, although regents ruled temporarily until 1227 when he became of age. Henry was also one of the builders of the Abbey.
- Elizabeth I, queen 1558-1603, and the daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII; she was known as the Virgin Queen and Good Queen Bess and was the second founder of the Westminster School. I will write more about Elizabeth I in a separate post as I was fascinated by her story.
- Queen Victoria, who reigned 1837-1901.
The base of the statue is flanked by four lions. Lions can mean different things in different contexts, but typically represent guarding of something precious.