Old War Office

I was walking through Whitehall last week – it must have been early evening Monday – when I passed the old War Office building, one of those bits of grand late Victorian swagger which it’s easy to ignore.   But as the evening sun caught its upper stories, I for once admired its baroque magnificence, designed, as so often in these years, by a Scot, William Young, the son of a Paisley bootmaker and trained at the South Kensington School of Design.   He was given the commission for the War Office as consolation for not winning the competition to design the South Kensington Museum, produced the design in 1898, and died two years later, leaving his son Clyde to complete the project.   The sculpture was the work of Alfred Drury, who did the statue of Reynolds in the Burlington House courtyard:-

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