World War I Memorial
A female figure in high relief dominates Roslindale’s World War I Memorial. She holds a palm of victory in her right hand, and against her left side she holds the sheathed sword of peace. She stands against a vertical granite shaft twelve feet high. The shaft is backed by a horizontal granite block nineteen feet long, bearing on its face the inscription: “Roslindale honors its victorious sons and daughters in World War I. In the glory of their youth we shall remember them.”
This monument is surely one of the last World War I memorials to be erected in the United States, if not the last. The sculptor Henry Albert Atkins created a design for a monument shortly after the war, but it was not erected because of insufficient funds. However, the money that had been raised for Atkins’ monument remained in a bank account, where it sat untouched for over thirty years until Frederick Davis, a local businessman, discovered the forgotten sum. Davis became the main proponent to resurrect the WWI Memorial project. He chaired a community committee, which held a new design competition won by Gordon Carr. The monument was dedicated in 1959, and Roslindale finally had its World War I Memorial. Carr’s design bears some similarities to at least one sculpture by Henry Albert Atkins, so it is possible that Carr was familiar with Atkins’ work. Allegorical depictions of Peace are featured on several other Boston-area monuments as well.