Six years of controversy and nine potential sites inspected.
This War Cross, commemorating 1,162 servicemen from York who died fighting in the war, had a controversial history that meant six years elapsed between the opening of a memorial fund in 1919 and its unveiling in 1925.
Lutyens was designing both the York City memorial and the North-Eastern Railway Company memorial, also in York. There was anxiety that the railway memorial would overshadow the City one, and also the ancient city walls, with opposition led by two local archaeological societies. There was also general disquiet about the City memorial location and about costs.
The memorial – which had a bottle, coins and a current newspaper – was finally unveiled by the Duke of York in front of huge crowds on 22 June 1925.
Despite cost concerns, £400 remained unspent and so Lutyens was commissioned to design pillars and entrance gates to the Memorial Gardens where the York City memorial stands.
Photo courtesy of Tim Skelton
York City War Memorial, York. Upgraded to Grade II*