War memorial. Erected in 1921 by Ealing Borough Council to the design of Leonard Shuffrey. Extended after 1945 to commemorate the dead of the Second World War.
Reasons for Designation
Ealing War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20, it has added poignancy in that the architect’s own son is among the fallen commemorated;
* Architectural interest: an imposing neo-classical composition in fine stonework with ornate wrought-iron gates;
* Group value: with Pitzhanger Manor, listed Grade I to which it provides a dignified and fitting approach.
A proposal to erect a war memorial in Ealing was made in January 1919. Some £8,000 was raised by public subscription, of which £1,574 was spent on the memorial which was dedicated on 13 November 1921. The balance was used to found the “Fund of the Grateful Hearts” to support the education of children whose fathers had died fighting during the conflict. The gates themselves were the gift of the Corporation, in memory of its employees who had died.
The memorial forms the principal entrance gates to Pitzhanger Manor, remodelled by Sir John Soane in 1802, which was used as Ealing public library from 1901-1984. It was designed by the Ealing architect, Leonard Shuffrey, whose son Gilbert died in the First World War and whose name is among those commemorated. The name of one woman, Alice Harman, who was killed in an accident at a munitions factory at Acton in 1916, is also recorded.
MATERIALS: Portland stone ashlar; brick walls faced in ashlar; wrought-iron gates.
DESCRIPTION: a symmetrical composition comprising gate piers, quadrant walls and end piers supported on a moulded plinth, each pier bearing a stone urn from Elm Grove, the Ealing home of Prime Minister Spencer Perceval. The flanking walls, added after 1945, carry the names of the Second World War dead.
The gate piers frame the view of the entrance to Pitzanger Manor from Ealing Green. Each has a sunken panel with a relief carving of olive branches, the right-hand panel inscribed THEY COME/ TRANSFIGURED BACK/ SECURE FROM CHANGE/ IN THEIR HIGH-HEARTED/ WAYS/ BEAUTIFUL EVERMORE/ AND WITH THE RAYS/ OF MORN ON THEIR WHITE/ SHIELDS OF EXPECTATION, a quotation from the Ode Recited at the Harvard Commemoration by the American poet James Russell Lowell (1865). The left gate pier is inscribed 1945/1918 and the right 1939/1914, aligned with the corresponding panels of names on the walls to either side. The wrought-iron gates have ornate scroll-work and an arched overthrow, embellished with the arms of the Borough.
The quadrant walls are faced with a series of raised stone panels, 23 each side, carved with the names of the 1,051 fallen of the First World War. The walls were raised above the moulded coping to incorporate a band of narrow panels, 23 each side to correspond with those beneath, inscribed with names of those who fell in the Second World War. A frieze bears the inscription IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THIS/ BOROUGH WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WARS OF 1914-1918 AND 1939-45, with a moulded cornice above. The flanking walls bear a further 10 panels inscribed with names of Second World War dead, which number 510 overall.
This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 5 October 2017.