What’s on : Lectures

Lutyens and the Great War

1 Feb 2010
Start time
7:30 PM
The Hospitium
Tim Skelton
Lutyens and the Great War

Event Information

Lutyens and the Great War
Tim Skelton

A joint lecture in colaboration with The University of York King’s Manor SCR and The Yorkshire Club

Although Sir Edwin Lutyens is commonly celebrated for his large houses for wealthy clients, much of his work was designed in connection with the First World War and remains relatively unknown and unpublished. Lutyens was one of the key architects for the then Imperial War Graves Commission, and his work on the Western Front was instrumental in setting the standards for the British and Commonwealth war cemeteries that are admired by all those who visit them today. In addition to the Cenotaph in Whitehall and the nation s largest war memorial the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme at Thiepval Lutyens also designed more than fifty memorials in cities, towns and villages in Britain and abroad. Tim Skelton and Gerald Gliddon describe the variety of these moving works, explaining the stories behind them and setting them in the context of Lutyens s overall output.



The architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944), best known for his small country houses around the turn of the last century, was from 1917 onwards principally involved in designing memorials to the fallen of the First World War.
Lutyens’ Cenotaph in Whitehall, hurriedly thrown up first in wood and plaster for a peace procession in 1919, caught the public mood for simplicity of expression. It led to commissions large and small throughout England, and significant input into designs for the cemeteries all along the Western Front.
Lutyens was engaged twice in York. His memorial for the North Eastern Railway Company stands in Station Parade. He suggested two sites for the city’s memorial, the old cholera burial ground, or the grass bank on the approach to Lendal Bridge. Dr Evelyn, secretary of YAYAS, anxious to protect our uncluttered enjoyment of the city walls, vetoed both. All that could be afforded was a tall, slender cross, less prominently placed in Memorial Gardens.


Tim Skelton’s book “Lutyens and the Great War” is available from Amazon – follow the links below for further details: