In 1921, Lloyd's Register's General Committee decided to commission a memorial to the London office's printing house and clerical staff that died during the First World War. The memorial, sculpted by Frank Arnold Wright R.B.S, is a bronze mural tablet which features Britannia, with an upraised shield being accompanied by two ships before a background of the setting sun. Inscribed on the memorial's central panel of green connemara marble are the names of the men who fell. Finally, at the memorial's base is a trophy of military emblems.
There are only 15 names on the memorial, perhaps fewer than would be expected, as due to the nature of Lloyd's Register's work in the shipping industry many if its staff were required by the Government to continue working in vital roles away from the front line. Even so 108 members of staff joined the colours during the Great War. While this dedication text mentions 14 men not returning, the War Memorial remembers 15 as it also includes Maurice G Boyer who died as a result of injuries sustained during the War and whose name was added later.
The Memorial was unveiled on 11 May 1922, at Lloyd's Register's Collcutt building at 71 Fenchurch Street. Below is an excerpt from the event's programme.
The War Memorial erected in the office of Lloyd's Register of Shipping, 71, Fenchurch Street, London, to the memory of the members of the Society's staff who fell in the Great War, was unveiled on Thursday, 11th May, by Field-Marshal The Right Honourable Lord Methuen, G.C.B, G.C.M.G, G.C.V.O, and dedicated by the Rev. T. Wellard, B.A, B.D, Rector of St. Olave's, Hart Street, in whose parish the Society's office are situated.
Among the large assembly present were relatives of those whose names are inscribed on the War Memorial, many present and former members of the Committee of Lloyd's Register, and representatives of the Committees of Lloyd's Register abroad.
After the singing of the hymn "O God our help in ages past" Mr. J. Herbert Scrutton, the chairman of Lloyd's Register, who presided, stated that 111 members of the Society's staff had joined the colours during the Great War, and that of these 14 did not return. The numbers would have been increased had it not been for the Government recognition of the intimate association of the Society's staff with the Mercantile Marine, with which the safety and welfare of the country was so closely bound up. In many directions the staff had given strenuous assistance in connexion with the construction and repair of mercantile vessels involving hard work by day and night.
He believed that the memorial would be found worthy of the men whose lives had been sacrificed, of the building in which it was enshrined, and of the traditions of Lloyd's Register itself. He hoped that as the memorial was passed and repassed in the course of daily business it would strengthen the resolve of all who saw it that they too would do their duty.
Lord Methuen before unveiling the memorial said that, although he would have preferred that the duty should have been discharged by someone who had fought in the Great War, his presence was to some extent justified because from the beginning of 1915 until the end of the War he was Governor of Malta, where he had every chance of seeing the courage, ability and modesty of the officers of the Mercantile Marine. He fully recognised the value of the services which Lloyd's Register had rendered to the Mercantile Marine throughout the War. He felt most strongly that however great the desire for economy might be, it was only a matter of prudence and common sense to do all that was essential to safeguard the country and the Empire by air, sea and land.
After a roll of drums and the sounding of the Last Post by buglers and drummers of the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, Lord Methuen unveiled the Memorial which was dedicated by the Rev. T. Wellard.
The proceedings terminated by the sounding of the Reveille, and the singing of the National Anthem.
In remembrance of the First World War, the Heritage & Education Centre (HEC) has started a brand new crowd sourcing project that aims to uncover the personal stories of Lloyd's Register staff that died during the First World War. Using materials from our archive, the Heritage & Education Centre team have published the employment and military information of the 15 members of staff that are named on our First World War memorial.
The severe loss of life during the First World War often means that the individual lives of those that fought are forgotten. However, the team realise that our archived material, whilst offering a unique glimpse into the past, can only tell so much.
We are calling for any friends, family or researchers to contact us and give any information you can on these men. By using our contact form, you can ensure that each of these men are remembered eternally. The information given will then be published to each individual staff member's webpage; creating a unique portal that commemorates the lives of the 15 men who died for their country.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
For the Fallen by Robert Laurence Binyon
If your ancestor is listed on our memorial or if they worked at Lloyd's Register during the First World War, get in touch. We would love to hear your stories! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org