First World War Memorial Doors, St George's Anglican church

Left hand door, central relief
Bronze doors, designed by Napoleone Martinuzzi, 1926, following conservation in 2015
Right hand door, central relief

About the project

The doors were cast from two cannons provided by the War Council in London, one dating from the Crimean War and a larger gun dated 1795.  They were sent from England and melted down for casting in the Arsenale, in collaboration with the Italian Navy.

Advised by the architect Luigi Marangoni the memorial committee chose a design of Byzantine  inspiration by the sculptor and designer, Napoleone Martinuzzi (189s-1977).

The project was completed in 1926, funded after an appeal chaired by Sir Ronald Graham, the British Ambassador in Rome, with support from the Army and Navy and ecclesiastical and diplomatic representatives as well as British residents in Venice.

The left door bears the inscription ‘Ad Rerum Memoriam’ MCMXIV and the right: ‘Ad Nominum Honorum’ MCMXVIII. On either side of the doors two bronze panels are inscribed with the names of the cemeteries on the Asiago plateau where British soldiers died mostly in the closing months of war in the summer and autumn of 1918. To the left are Boscon, Barenthal, Magnaboschi, Cavalletto, Granezza and to the right are Graduscam, Giavera, Tezze, Montecchio, Precalcino, Dueville.

In the lunette above is a figure with staff and orb and and above that is a relief of St George and the Dragon, dated 1926.

A Liber Honoris – Roll of Honour is kept in the church.

How to find it

In brief

  • The Bronze Doors of St George’s Anglican Church in Campo S. Vio are designated as an official memorial to British servicemen who died on the Italian front and at sea in the First World War.
  • Venice in Peril Fund pledged £3000 in 2014, the centenary of the start of WW1, towards the target of €17,000. The conservation treatment was carried out by bronze conservator Corina Mattiello, who has worked extensively in St Marks Basilica.  The doors were re-dedicated on Remembrance Day 2015.
  • In an earlier project in 2008 (the 400th anniversary of St George’s church) Venice in Peril funded the restoration of seven stained glass windows commemorating distinguished British residents of Venice – among others Ruskin and Browning.
  • As the British Committee for Venice, Venice in Peril has regularly supported work to keep alive the history of British residents in the city.  In 1995-96 it funded the conservation of the tombstones of Colonel Elizeus Burges (1670-1736) and John Murray (1712-75) which are in the Lido Cemetery. The Fund has also supported work to the interior of St George’s church. 
  • St George’s Anglican church, service times and information.

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