Architectural sculptor, the son of Abraham Broadbent (c.1868–1919), also an architectural sculptor, and grandson of William Broadbent, stonemason. Eric Broadbent presumably trained in his father’s workshop and was trading as Messrs Broadbent & Sons when he executed the decorative carving – Portland stone keystones and garlands – on Edwin Lutyens’s Britannic House, Finsbury Circus, London (1921–25). He also worked for Lutyens, carving the Portland stone unit badges, on the latter’s Royal Naval Division War Memorial, Horse Guards Parade (completed 1925). His most prestigious commission, however, was the Speed Wings Over the World group, again in Portland stone, which stands over the entrance to Albert Lakeman’s Imperial Airways Terminal (occupied, at the time of writing, by the National Audit Office), Buckingham Palace Road (1937–39). Broadbent lived in London throughout his working life (430 Fulham Road, 1921–38), although he was living in or near Marlborough, Wiltshire, at the time of his death.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 452–53; Mapping Sculpture; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 109, 110.
Terry Cavanagh November 2023