Glimpse history through old images of Finchley, in Greater London.
La Deliverance 1927
In 1914, French sculptor Emile Oscar Guillaume created ‘La Victoire’, as a celebration of the First Battle of the Marne, which stopped the German forces capturing Paris.
A 4.9m replica version called ‘La Delivrance’, was presented to Finchley by Lord Rothermere in 1927.
He fell out with the council over the matter, because the spot he chose for the statue would allow him to see it every time hedrove past to see his mother in Totteridge, but they wanted the First World War memorial at that location. He said they either agreed to his instructions, or they would not receive the statue.
A similar sculture was erected in the French city of Nantes the same year.
The official unveiling at Henly’s Corner, at the bottom of Regents Park Road at the southern edge of Finchley, was performed by Lloyd George (British Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922), on 20 October 1927.
It is thought about 8,000 watched the unveiling of the statue, which is now commonly known as The Naked Lady.
The statue had to undergo restoration for corrosion damage in 1938, became a Grade II listed structure in April 1983, had an information plaque added by the finchley Society in September 2007, and became a Grade II* listed structure in February 2016.
The unveiling of Emile Guillaume’s ‘La Delivrance’ at Finchley (1927) – British Pathé on YouTube