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Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Southampton Cenotaph/archive1

The following is an archived discussion of a featured article nomination. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the article's talk page or in Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates. No further edits should be made to this page.

The article was promoted by Laser brain via FACBot (talk) 27 March 2019 [1].

Southampton CenotaphEdit

Nominator(s): HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? and Hchc2009 (talk) 23:50, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, it's another war memorial in another city, again by Lutyens. This was his first (it was already in progress when Lutyens got the commission for its much more famous sibling in London). In many ways informed those that followed, and in others it's a complete one-off. Either way, it's a big piece of the puzzle in the story of Lutyens and his war memorials.

Hchc wrote most of it and took it to GA in 2012. I expanded it with some new sources, some of which only came out during the centenary of WWI, and took it through an A-class review at MilHist and now I believe it's up to FA standard. As ever, I'd be very grateful for any feedback. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:50, 1 February 2019 (UTC)

Support by PMEdit

I looked at this closely during Milhist ACR, and could find precious little to nitpick about then. I consider it meets the FA criteria. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 09:18, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Image review

  • suggest adding alt text
  • Suggest scaling up both images in History slightly. Nikkimaria (talk) 19:36, 2 February 2019 (UTC)


Another very nice article in a superb series. I made a couple of very minor tweaks, and could only find two points to pick up on:

  • "abstract, beautiful design": this is a bit too POV, unless you can say who considers it so
  • "thus till anonymised": still?

Support. That's it from me - I presume you'll do the right things on these two (the first is a little less clear on how to deal with it), but neither should stop a support. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 11:40, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

Hi Gavin, thanks for the support. I fixed the typo. As for "beautiful design", it's a description of Lutyens' technique rather than an opinion in Wikipedia's voice, but I'd welcome any suggestions for making that clearer without straying too far from the source. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:03, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
Hi Harry, Nothing has come to mind in the last day, but I'll mull it over and see if inspiration strikes. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 00:01, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

Support by ZawedEdit

I briefly reviewed this article in respect of its images during the Milhist ACR. Having looked at it again in greater detail, I think it is FA standard. Cheers, Zawed (talk) 09:40, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Comments by Mike ChristieEdit

I'll review this in more detail later, but here's one thing I noticed: Lutyens argued against the committee's initial proposed location on Asylum Green in favour of Watts Park, which the committee agreed to: I found this difficult to parse, though I eventually decided it's unambiguous. How about "Lutyens persuaded the committee to abandon their initial proposed location on Asylum Green in favour of Watts Park"? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:50, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

I made a couple more copyedits, but have no more issues to raise. Once the minor issue above is addressed I'll be glad to support. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 23:46, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
Mike Christie - Mike, Harry appears not to be in a position to deal with this at present so Usernameunique and I are seeing if we can respond to concerns. I've tried a re-wording as follows, "Lutyens argued successfully against the committee's initial proposed location on Asylum Green in favour of Watts Park." Does this work? KJP1 (talk) 22:24, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
That's an improvement. To be honest I like my proposed rephrasing better, but it's not enough to withhold support. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:48, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

Support. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:48, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

Support Comments by UsernameuniqueEdit


  • Jewish community being unhappy that the memorial featured a Christian cross — This makes it sound as if Jewish Southamptoners made the decision to be excluded, but later on in the article it makes it sound as if they were excluded by others.
This is rather topical, in view of the discussion here, Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates#Citation tools and GBooks links! I see the text is available as a snippet in Google books, here, [2]. I think this makes pretty clear that Jewish names were "excluded", although there may have been an element of self-exclusion in that Jews would have felt unable to commemorate their dead on what had been made, by the inclusion of the cross, an explicitly Christian memorial. Lutyens fought, and mostly won, the same battle on the same grounds in relation to the war graves in France and Belgium. "All that is done of structure should be for all time and for equality of honour, for besides Christians of all denominations, there will be Jews, Mussulmens, Hindus and men of other creeds, their glorious names and their mortal bodies all equally deserving enduring record and seemly sepulture".(Amery et. al., Lutyens, 1981, p=150) I'll try a, very slight, rewording, perhaps with a footnote. KJP1 (talk) 17:04, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Have now reread and I think the prose follows the source. It's not 100% clear to me, but I think the act of including the Christian cross had the effect of excluding the Jewish dead, rather than there being a specific prohibition. I've added a footnote which Harry can remove if undesired. He thought we'd put rather too many in Sissinghurst but he may accept one! KJP1 (talk) 06:30, 24 March 2019 (UTC)


  • The war had a profound effect on him — How so?
A number of reasons: firstly he, like many others, was appalled by the sheer scale of the carnage and the death toll. Secondly, he moved in the aristocratic circles that saw particularly heavy losses, proportionate to their numbers, as they made up the officer class. Then, as a prescient man, he saw that the War would bring to an end the England in which he had grown up and prospered, the market for large country houses taking a distinct downturn postwar! But that's enough OR, let me go and find a quote. KJP1 (talk) 17:17, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Have tweaked the wording and put in what I hope is a suitable quote. See what you think. KJP1 (talk) 06:56, 24 March 2019 (UTC)


  • with a proposed budget of £10,000 — What's that in 2019 pounds?
  • The template defaults to comparisons over time using the Consumer Price Index or Retail Price Index; this is only safe for comparing Consumer Price Index values over time: e.g. staples, workers' rent, small service bills (doctor's costs, train tickets) etc. - large war memorials are definitely out of scope. :) The template will allow to compare using a GDP inflator, but you need to be sure that you're happy with what that statistic is actually telling you, and whether or not its appropriate for the comparison you want to make, or indeed useful for the purposes of this article. (For comparison, a GDP inflator will give you equivalent to £515,000 in 2016; a CPI version will give you equivalent to £478,000 in 2018). For these purposes, I wonder if an average wage comparator would be more appropriate - tellingly, those comparison measures would equate £10,000 in 1918 to just under £2m today. Hchc2009 (talk) 07:49, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
Looking at a few of Harry's other memorials, Manchester/Leicester, I see he doesn't use a comparator template in these either. Perhaps there's just not one that "works", although £10,000 (1918) to £2M (2019) sounds sort of "right" to me. KJP1 (talk) 10:05, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. Changing the start date from 1918 to 1920 also happens to result in wildly different calculations, so another reason to just let the £10,000 stand by itself. --Usernameunique (talk) 18:11, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
  • the project was completed on time — When was that?
1920, added. KJP1 (talk) 22:24, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

Design and symbolism

  • Watts Park — Worth a stub?
Lord, you don't ask for much! Watts Park, Southampton. KJP1 (talk) 21:54, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Above and beyond, KJP1. --Usernameunique (talk) 23:37, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
  • There are several points here where you include 4 or 5 citations after a number of sentences, and I wonder if you could place them with more precision at the exact sentences they support.
This is Harry's style, and has been accepted in his many previous FAs. Like you, I prefer to tie my refs to the specific sentence to which they relate but I don't think it needs changing. KJP1 (talk) 21:54, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Done. Agreed and removed. KJP1 (talk) 21:54, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The names of the dead — How many names?
2,368. Added with cite. KJP1 (talk) 06:03, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
  • abstract, beautiful design ... the beauty of the design ... Lutyens' abstract, "beautiful" portrayal — Calling it beautiful feels like commentary.


  • Jewish names were predominantly excluded from the memorial — Why? Whose decision?
See above. KJP1 (talk) 07:03, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Another stone was laid by the Cenotaph in 2018, dedicated to Daniel Beak — Why did they decide to single him out for an individual stone?
  • Seems like this is because he survived the war, and so wasn't already commemorated, but that his actions were considered significant enough to merit commemoration. Clarified that he survived the war. --Usernameunique (talk) 21:28, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
I think it's exactly that. Southampton-born and a VC holder. I've expanded a little further. KJP1 (talk) 22:08, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
  • A small metal plaque mounted on a concrete plinth was installed by Southampton City Council in the 21st century — "in the 21st century" is pretty vague, coming as it does after a line about a 2018 addition.
  • when it formed part of a national collection of Lutyens' war memorials. — Do you mean to say that Historic England decided at this time to specifically designate a collection of Lutyens's war memorials?
Exactly so, in 2015, when all of Lutyens' 44 memorials were listed, and many of those already listed were upgraded, e.g. II to II*, II* to I. [3] KJP1 (talk) 22:00, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

Seems like you know what you're doing with all these Lutyens articles, HJ Mitchell. Couldn't find much to nitpick about. --Usernameunique (talk) 21:01, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Support from KJP1Edit

Having now read it through a number of times, and being confident it is FA standard, I'll take the liberty of adding my Support. KJP1 (talk) 06:30, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

Coord noteEdit

Source review? Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 10:58, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

I'm concerned that no response is evident to Usernameunique comments and HJ Mitchell doesn't seem to have edited in almost a month. If the nominator has become inactive, we'll have no choice but to close this unless someone else wants to volunteer to shepherd it across the line. --Laser brain (talk) 14:38, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Yeah, forgot to mention I wiki-mailed Harry over the weekend and have had no response as yet. If he's away for longer then I'd hope someone could take this over as it seems on the home stretch even though comments remain unaddressed... Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 20:29, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Laser_brain and Ian Rose, if my comments are the last unresolved part of this nomination, I'll see what I can do by the end of the week to address them myself. Most were pretty minor. --Usernameunique (talk) 04:40, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Laser_brain, Ian Rose and Usernameunique - Usernameunique, I've some, though not all, of the sources and may be able to help. I'll take a look but it'll be later today/tomorrow. KJP1 (talk) 07:39, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
KJP1, thanks for helping with this. What you say about Jewish names makes sense, and if you could clarify it in the article, that would be great. Everything else is relatively minor, but it seems that this part—suggesting, as it does, sentiments of bigotry—should be particularly clear. --Usernameunique (talk) 00:02, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Usernameunique - My absolute pleasure. The article warrants a star and it would be a pity for it to fall by the wayside because Harry's busy IRL. I think, between us, we've now addressed all but one of your, and Mike's, issues, provided you're ok with the Jewish names. The only outstanding one I can see is the use of "beautiful", as in "abstract, beautiful design". I absolutely get the concern, which I see was shared by SchroCat. However, I'd be reluctant to take them out. Harry obviously thought carefully about them - see his discussion with SchroCat - and they are linked to a source which I don't have. What do you think? KJP1 (talk) 07:13, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

p.s. Good to see the helmet on the front page yesterday!
KJP1, it would certainly be a shame for a few minor points to get in the way of this nomination. What do you think of my rewording regarding the Jewish names? I think this makes the lead (which mentions the reaction of the Jewish community) more consistent with the body. I've also removed the exact number of names from "Design and symbolism" (which you added on my suggestion), because on reflection this seems a nuanced issue—the number has changed over time, and the names are now predominantly listed on new glass panels—that is better treated in "History." Finally, I'm happy to leave the use of "beautiful" for Harry to think about at a future date. --Usernameunique (talk) 18:23, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
And thanks for the note about the Emesa helmet! Was fun to see that featured.
Usernameunique - I think it reads very well, and it's certainly supported by the source. So I think we're done, but we can let Ian/Laserbrain have a look. I've never done a DYK! All the best. KJP1 (talk) 22:00, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, KJP1. I agree that we're covered the significant points. Added my support above. And it seemed that after going to the trouble of creating the Watts Park article, you may as well get a DYK out of it! --Usernameunique (talk) 00:46, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

KJP1 and Usernameunique, thank you kindly for all of your last-minute work to push this over the line. --Laser brain (talk) 13:25, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Sources reviewEdit

  • No issues evident from limited spotchecking
  • All sources links working
  • No presentational issues

The sources appear to be well chosen, and of the appropriate standards of quality and reliability. Brianboulton (talk) 14:42, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.