Sir Alec Douglas-Home Memorial

The Hirsel, Coldstream, Scotland
Commissioned by the Sir Alec Douglas-Home Trust with money raised by public subscription
Open competition

Dimensions: 25m x 20m
Date: 1998
Media: bronze on a paved area with sandstone forms

The sculpture commemorates the life and work of Sir Alex Douglas-Home (1903-1995) who was elected as a Member of Parliament several times between 1931 and 1974 serving twice as Foreign Secretary (1960-63 and 1970-74) and as Prime Minister (1963-1964).

He succeeded to the title of the 14th Earl of Home on the death of his father in 1951 but renounced the earldom to be Prime Minister in 1963. He was made a life peer on retirement from active politics in 1974 choosing the title Lord Home of the Hirsel.

The full-sized portrait in bronze depicts him at at the time he was Prime Minister at approximately sixty years of age and was created from photographs provided by his family.

The figure is erected in the centre of a shaped paved area and surrounded by various sculptured stones giving material reality to some aspects of his varied life including:

  • A text wall outlining his title and achievements
  • A relief with one of the Home heraldic devices, a salamander in a ring of fire
  • A stone reminiscent of a chess piece with the Douglas Home mottoes “Jamais arriere” and “True to the End”
  • A ‘map’ stone in the form of a scroll referring to his statesmanship and the role he played in international affairs on behalf of the British Government
  • A stone urn carved with strawberry leaves denoting the rank of Earl and and

I. the badge of the order of the thistle, of which he was chancellor,
II. the badge of the Queens Bodyguard for Scotland (The Royal Company of Archers) in which he was Captain
III. the badge of the Houses of Parliament, and
IV. the shield of Heriot-Watt University of which he was first Chancellor

  • A relief at the back of the figure pedestal which reflects his interest in the country and country pursuits and in the same panel reference is made to his involvement at a high level in the sport of cricket

The portrait was modelled by Bill Scott and the bronze cast made by John Brazenall using a resin sand process. The urn and map stone were carved by Kenny Munro. Other carvings were made by Bill Scott, John Hunter and Angela Hunter. The lettering was by Bill Scott and Fly Freeman.

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