ALMOST exactly 100 years ago, the board of the North Eastern Railway decided that there should be a memorial to its 2,236 employees killed in The Great War, as the First World War was known. The board appointed Sir Edwin Lutyens to design the monument.

The location chosen was the site of the railway company’s Fire Engine House, between the NER’s head office (now the Grand Hotel) and the city walls. This was controversial, as it involved cutting away part of the embankment of the medieval walls.

A full sized wooden replica was built on site so that the impact of the monument on the walls and surrounding area could be assessed. It clearly passed muster, because the stone memorial went ahead, and was duly unveiled on June 14, 1924, four years after it was first proposed.

This extraordinary photograph, from the collection of images held by the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society (YAYAS), shows the stone memorial under construction.