The visitor can access the War Memorial garden either from the Queningate (NB this needs a cathedral pass) or from the south Precincts, via steps and an open gateway. On the flint wall beside the steps (right hand side when entering) several stone tablets commemorate the life of George Robert Canning Harris. NB several Lord Harris’s, livng and dead, have made major contributions to British life. Note also that ‘Bomber Harris’ (of Bomber Command) became a baronet but not a Lord.
This Lord Harris managed to mix a career as a colonial administrator (including Governor of Bombay) with a very successful contribution as an amateur cricketer (including captain of Kent and captain of England).
The stone immediately above the main central stone shows an heraldic shield that includes three small creatures which look like hedgehogs. The link to the Harris family is simply a play on words – the French for hedgehog is ‘hérisson’ which sounds (a bit) like Harris, or perhaps Harris-son as George was son of a Harris? In heraldic terms this is known as ‘canting’.
Another form of heraldic word play in common throughout the cathedral building is use of a rebusie a representation of family names in images of objects or symbols that convey the same sounds. Examples described elsewhere in the CHAS website include: Bourchier, Goldstone, Kemp, Morton, and Trivet.
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