Active: 1891 - 1932
Country of birth and death: England
Sculptor, monumental sculptor
Born in Sutton, Yorkshire. Son of George Henry March (born c.1843 in Sutton, Yorkshire). He worked as a seed crusher (oil miller) in Yorkshire and then as a builder's clerk when the family moved to London c.1900. Eight of the March children became artists, and three of them sculptors (Sydney, Elsie and Vernon). The other artist siblings were Edward (1873-1941), Percival (born c.1878), Frederick (born c.1881), Dudley (1885-1962) and Walter (born c.1889). They lived and worked for most of their careers at the family home of Goddendene in Kent. The Marches, including their mother, Elizabeth, and father, George Henry, are buried at St. Giles Church, Farnbough, Kent. The grave is marked by a bronze statue by Sydney March, dating from 1922.
One of Sydney's earliest commissions was a marble portrait of King Edward VII for Windsor Castle. The royal family subsequently visited the artist's home. Sydney together with five of his other siblings helped complete the bronze groups for the National War Memorial of Canada in Ottawa. This was a commission that was awarded to Vernon in open competition in January 1926 and was left incomplete when he died of pneumonia in 1930. The family completed the work by 1932 and are said to have cast the bronzes at Goddendene. In 1937, after the memorial groups had been shown in London, they were transported to Ottawa and the memorial arch was constructed. The unveiling ceremony took place on 21 May 1939.
In a catalogue entry on a bust of Harry Beasley by Elsie March owned by the British Museum, Aileen Dawson notes a sale of 168 lots comprising pictures, watercolours, drawings and sculpture by six members of the March family: Edward, Sydney, Henry (1879-1962), Elsie, Dudley and Vernon which was held at Sotheby's, Belgravia, on 2 August 1982.
This record includes information supplied by Claire Garrett. The details of the bust of Harry Beasley and the information about the March family compiled by Aileen Dawson can be found at: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_details.aspx?objectid=31695&partid=1&searchText=elsie+march&fromADBC=ad&toADBC=ad&numpages=10&orig=%2fresearch%2fsearch_the_collection_database.aspx¤tPage=1 (accessed 8 February 2012) There is further information about the National War Memorial of Canada in Ottawa at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_War_Memorial_%28Canada%29 (accessed 8 February 2012)
Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Exhibited at The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts (Summer Exhibition), 1768-
1906 - 1932
Exhibited 13 times, seventeen works in all (chiefly portrait busts, statuettes and equestrian groups)
Institutional and Business Connections
Studied at Royal Academy Schools
In 1900, March was awarded a first prize silver medal for a model of a statue or group. See Royal Academy, 'Annual Report, 1900', (1901), p. 31.
Descriptions of Practice
Occupation given in Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891
'Monumental Sculptor's Apprentice' and his older brother, Edward (born c.1874) 'School of Art Student'
Occupation given in Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901
'Art Student' working on own account, his brother Edward was a 'Designer' working on his own account at home and brothers Percival (born c.1878), Frederick (born c.1881) and Dudley (born c.1884) were all 'Art Craftsmen' working on their own account at home
Occupation given in Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
Sydney and Vernon: 'Sculptor', the oldest brother Edward and Elsie were 'Artist Painter' (Elsie 'etc.'), Percival (born c.1878) 'Artist Craftsman Marble etc.', and brothers Frederick (born c.1881), Dudley (born c.1884) and Walter (born c.1889) all 'Art Craftsmen Metal etc.' the whole family were working on their own account at home
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891
RG12 piece 3923 folio 148 page 19
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901
RG13 piece 440 folio 100 page 25
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911
RG14PN3694 RG78PN139 RD42 SD3 ED7 SN79
England & Wales, Death Index: 1916-2007
Name: Sydney March Birth Date: abt 1876 Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1968 Age at Death: 92 Registration district: Bromley Inferred County: Kent Volume: 5a Page: 423
England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
Name: Sydney March Date of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1876 Registration district: Sculcoates Inferred County: Yorkshire East Riding Volume: 9d Page: 129
Citing this record
'Sydney March', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib4_1261394439, accessed 22 Dec 2014]