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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Charles Sargeant Jagger (1885–1934)

Sculptor. Born in Sheffield, Jagger was apprenticed at the age of 14 to a metal engraver. After his apprenticeship he became a teacher of metal engraving at night school, whilst in the daytime studying sculpture. In 1907 the West Riding of Yorkshire awarded him a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he was taught by Professor Édouard Lantéri and in 1911 won a travel scholarship. On graduating he earned his living by becoming studio assistant to his former professor and by teaching at South London Technical School of Art. In 1914 he was awarded the Prix de Rome for sculpture, but instead of travelling to Italy to further his studies he joined the Artists’ Rifles. He was wounded at Gallipoli and in France. He was awarded the Military Cross. He drew on these experiences to produce a series of stylised bronze pieces which led to commissions for war memorials. These include Portsmouth (1921); West Kirby (1922); St Michael and All Angels, Birmingham; the Anglo Belgian Memorial; National War Memorial in Brussels; Royal Artillery Memorial, Hyde Park Corner; Tank Memorial, Cambridge; and Great Western Railway Memorial, Paddington Station. The intensity of Jagger’s war memorials is echoed in his crucifixion group, The Holy Rood (1927–29), made for the priory chapel of the Society for the Sacred Mission at Kelham Priory, Newark, though no longer in situ. For his relief, Scandal (1930), commissioned for the Mayfair home of the Mond family, Jagger adopted a light, erotic art deco style. He was also commissioned to produce public portrait statues: Sir Ernest Shackleton (1927–32, Royal Geographical Society, South Kensington), George V (1934–35, New Delhi), Lord Hardinge of Penshurst (1927–30, New Delhi) and the Marquess of Reading (1927–30, originally in New Delhi, now in Reading). Between 1928 and 1931, Jagger created an epic series of modern allegories for the parapet of Imperial Chemical House, Millbank. He died of a heart attack in 1934.

Bibliography (updated 2023): T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 330–33; A. Compton (ed.), Charles Sargeant Jagger: War and Peace Sculptor (Imperial War Museum), London, 1985; A. Compton, The Sculpture of Charles Sargeant Jagger, Much Hadham, 2004; E. Morris and E. Roberts, Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, Liverpool, 2012, pp. 245–48; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster. Volume 1, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 96–100; T. Wyke, Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, 2004, pp. 121–22.

Philip Ward-Jackson 2011