De Saumarez Memorial

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Saumarez Memorial, from an old postcard

The De Saumarez Memorial was a monument to Admiral Lord James Saumarez, which was erected between 1876-1878 in Delancey Park, St Sampsons. It was destroyed by German forces during the German Occupation during World War II.

Contents

Construction

The States decided to erect a monument in 1873, to be funded by public subscription. The foundation stone was laid on 1 August 1876, and was completed o 11 October 1877. It was officially unveiled on 1 August 1878, the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Nile. It was designed by Mr A C Andros, and built by Mr J Le Page of Les Ozouets. It was made from Guernsey granite and took the form of a 99 foot obelisk.

It featured four bronze plaques that were placed around the base:

  1. Dedication To James first Baron de Saumarez of Guernsey GCB, KS; DCL, Admiral of the Red, General of Marines, b.1757 d.1836. This memorial is erected by his fellow countrymen as a tribute of admiration to his heroism and Christian character. 1878.
  2. A portrait of Admiral James de Saumarez
  3. List of the Admiral's victories during his career 1778-1801
  4. Depiction of one of his sea battles


Destruction

Plaques from the Saumarez Memorial, displayed at Castle Cornet

The monument was destroyed by German forces on 7 December 1943, leaving just the base standing. In 1954, the States of Guernsey decided not to replace the monument. Some of the granite blocks were used to enlarge the Rosaire Steps in Herm, and the bronze plaques were moved to Castle Cornet, where they remain to this day.

Reconstruction

There have been a number of attempts to have the monument rebuilt. There was a failed requete in 1989. In 2009, the Admiral de Saumarez Trust was established, with the aim among other things, of rebuilding the De Saumarez Memorial. The design is in the spirit of the original, and includes the original bronze plaques around the base. Planning permission has been submitted and an appeal has been launched to raise the £800,000 costs through public subscription, in the same way the original monument was funded.

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