Sir William Goscombe John

1860–1952

Sir William Goscombe John, ‘A Boy at Play’ c.1895
A Boy at Play c.1895
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Biography

Sir William Goscombe John (21 February 1860 – 15 December 1952) was a prolific Welsh sculptor known for his many public memorials. As a sculptor, John developed a distinctive style of his own while respecting classical traditions and forms of sculpture. He gained national attention with statues of eminent Victorians in London and Cardiff and subsequently, after both the Second Boer War and World War I, created a large number of war memorials. These included the two large group works, The Response 1914 in Newcastle upon Tyne and the Port Sunlight War Memorial which are considered the finest sculptural ensembles on any British monument.

Although as a young man he adopted the first name Goscombe, taken from the name of a village in Gloucestershire near his mother's home, he was actively engaged with his native Wales and Welsh culture throughout his career.

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