Gladstone Monument

The Model for the Two Boys

Thank you to Norman Spencer who gave me the following information.

Norman wrote:

Model for the Monument

"It may interest you to know that the two boys at the front of the monument are of course one  boy.

My mother's uncle, Sydney Fairley was the model, and for this he received,  I think it was one shilling a day (5p in present money) and an apple.

During poses to keep warm he was made to run up and down in the studio."

The Hearts Battalion

"Sydney Fairley's brother, my grandfather Havelock Fairley, was killed on the Somme and has no known grave he served with the Hearts Battalion of  the Royal Scots."

Norman Spencer, aged 85, Oxgangs, Edinburgh:  August 15, 2006

Reply from

William Thomas

Niagara, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to the Reverend Canon William Thomas for sending me a message about the Gladstone monument.

William wrote:

Model for the Monument

Rival Claim

"I was shocked to discover the claim by Norman Spencer (above) that the model for the young boy on the Gladstone Monument was one Sydney Fairley.

I wish to dispute that claim, or at least suggest there was more than one model, since the payment for the model agrees with our recollections. Any help you could provide, by way of documentation, one way or the other, would be helpful.

In my understanding the model was my uncle, Ian Robertson Wares, born June 29, 1898, who was around 10 years of age when he posed for the sculptor, James P. Migillvray.

Ian emigrated to Canada with his family in early 1914, but succeeded in joining the Lord Strathcona's Horse, and died in October 1918 during the last cavalry charge of the war.

William Thomas, Niagara, Ontario, Canada:  October 18, 2010


Thank you to William for also sending me:

-  a photograph of Ian Robertson.

-  a photograph of his gravestone in France.


The Gladstone Monument

St Andrew Square Edinburgh Transport