This noble figure of a Marine standing guard over a fallen comrade was created by Adrian Jones in 1903 to commemorate the fallen of the South African wars and the Boxer Rebellion in China.
The sculptor was self-taught, taking up sculpture after serving as an Army vetinerary officer, facts which help explain the unconventional but moving composition and the correct military detail.
The plinth was designed by the architect Sir Thomas G Jackson, and incorporates two bronze reliefs by Jones depicting on the left the Battle of Graspan in the Boer War and on the right the defence of the International Legations in the Boxer Rebellion.
The main British advantage was in artillery, famously including two long naval 12 pounders taken from HMS Doris and mounted on improvised carriages - dramatically depicted in Jones's relief, shelling the Boers as the Marines storm up the hill.
Jones's relief shows Royal Marines scaling the Legation wall to storm a Boxer rampart, causing the Chinese to throw down their Mausers and run. To the right, a Boxer is being bayoneted in a scene that shows Jones was not afraid to portray the horror of war in a way that is unusually frank for a war memorial.
The memorial was originally placed over the road, being removed for the construction of the Citadel during WWII. It was re-erected in its present position in 1948 and dedicated as the national Marines monument in 2000.