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Following the Leader

Erection date: 1949

Site: Following the Leader (1 memorial)

SE11, Laud Street, Vauxhall Gardens Estate, Darley House

The full title 'Following the Leader (Memorial to the Children Killed in the Blitz)’ makes it clear that this relief is indeed a memorial. Two other nearby, similar Peri reliefs are not so named but we have collected them anyway for completeness. Everything below applies to all 3 sculptures.

Commissioned by the LCC, the sculptures together with the bricks around them are all Listed (Following, Footballers, Mother) but the rest of the buildings are not. The listings explain that in the 1930s Peri "pioneered the use of concrete as a medium for expressive sculptures and came to specialise in architectural reliefs in coloured concrete, developing ‘Pericrete’, a mixture of concrete with polyester resin and metallic powders." and that the "concrete {is} laid over an expanded metal mesh". Ornamental Passions has more to say about the technique.

We noticed that for all these sculptures the bricks in the wall behind are slightly differently-coloured, or cleaner, than those of the rest of the walls. The Listings explain: "According to the catalogue of a Peri exhibition at the Leicestershire Museum and Art Gallery in 1991, the composition was originally framed by dark coloured pointing to the brick to make it stand out from the rest of the surface but this has since been replaced with standard mortar."

All are described as being "mounted on the stair tower" but the towers look more like lift towers, added to the (probably) pre-war blocks after the war.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Following the Leader

Subjects commemorated i

The Blitz

During WW2 Britain came under heavy bombing from Germany for 8 months, 1940-1...

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World War 2

Sorry, we've done no research on WW2, it's just too big a subject. But do vis...

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Civilian deaths in London caused by enemy action

This page brings together all the memorials that we have for civilians killed...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Following the Leader

Created by i

Peter Peri

Born in Hungary as Ladislas Weisz. Moved to Berlin in the 1920s and became, t...

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Nearby Memorials

The Ring pub

The Ring pub

SE1, Blackfriars Road, 72

The Surrey Chapel which became used as a boxing ring stood at this junction diagonally opposite this pub, on the site now occupied by TfL...

1 subject commemorated
Streatham Street model houses

Streatham Street model houses

WC1, Streatham Street, Parnell House

There is no plaque (2022) but this is any important building so we decided to collect it. Originally called 'Streatham Street Buildings'...

Chiswick war memorial bench

Chiswick war memorial bench

W4, The Avenue, St Michael & All Angels Church

The foundation stone is below the window on the right; the clock projects from the wall even further to the right, outside our photo.

War dead | WW1
45 subjects commemorated
Three Kings at Eltham Palace

Three Kings at Eltham Palace

SE18, Wellington Street, Greenwich Town Hall

We wondered what brought about this gathering of kings (four if you include the host, King Edward III), but could not track down any refe...

5 subjects commemorated, 1 creator
Rothschild Buildings arch

Rothschild Buildings arch

E1, Flower and Dean Walk

This arch originally formed an entrance to the tenement block of model dwellings, Rothschild Buildings.

2 subjects commemorated