Details of the Charles Frohman Memorial in Marlow: (courtesy from Geoff Wood)
The Portland stone memorial featuring a nymph was erected in 1924 by his friends and admirers including J M Barrie and Pauline Chase and is the only tribute in the world to this remarkable impresario and showman. The statue sits on The Causeway near his favourite view and is in a prominent position, visible to all who enter the town over Marlow Bridge. The delay after the war in erecting the Memorial was probably due to fund raising, choice of a suitable site and the beaurocracy involved in getting the necessary approval from local councils. It was finally erected on Easter Saturday 20th April 1924. The event was briefly reported in the Bucks Free Press newspaper of May 16th but due to the illness of Barrie and another member of the organising committee, there was no formal unveiling and 'the wrappings were removed without ceremony'. A drinking cup of aluminium was added shortly afterwards but sadly the statue suffered vandalism almost immediately and the drinking cup was stolen. Marlow Council then railed it in. During the great storm of February 1990, a tree fell over knocking the head and feet off at the ankles. Following this and other incidents of damage, the Memorial was fully restored in early 2009. It has recently received a second major clean and is now looking better than it has for many years. The words round the plinth are a translated quotation from a fragment of Sappho: 'For it is not right that in a house the muses haunt mourning should dwell; such things befit us not'. The quote is meant to eliminate the gloom of death and emphasize the happy note of Frohman's life. The statue was made by the noted sculptor Leonard Stanford Merrifield FRBS (1880-1943). A statue 'nymph for fountain' of the same design was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1921 and in the Palace of Arts at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in the summers of 1924 and 1925. The 'nymph for fountain' statue is currently on the main staircase at Chelsea Library and can be viewed anytime the library is open. The statue is identical to the Marlow statue but it sits on a plain 'rock' style base. Merrifield was a regular exhibitor at the RA from 1906 until his untimely death at his studio in Chelsea in 1943 after an air raid.