First World War memorial by Sir Herbert Baker, 1921, with later additions for the Second World War.
Reasons for Designation
Cobham War Memorial, which stands at the junction of Lodge Lane and Cobhambury Road, 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 local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architect: by the nationally renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker (1862-1946), who designed a number of war memorials at home (many of which are listed) and abroad;
* Design: a simple yet elegant cross;
* Group value: opposite Rose Cottage (Grade II) and adjacent to the south-west entrance to the Grade II*-registered park of Cobham Hall.
The war memorial in Cobham village was dedicated by Lady Darnley on 24 December 1921 to commemorate those 19 residents of Cobham and the surrounding area who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker. Later inscriptions were added to commemorate Second World War losses.
Sir Herbert Baker FRIBA RA (1862-1946) was born, and died, in Cobham, his English home. Articled to Arthur Baker in 1881, he was Assistant to Messrs Ernest George and Peto (1886-90) and attended the Royal Academy Schools. During the 1890s he was in South Africa, designing the Prime Ministerial residence ‘Groote Schuur’ and many private residences as well as government buildings following the South African union. From 1912 he collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens in India on New Dehli. From 1917 to 1928 Baker was one of the four Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission principal architects, for whom he designed 113 cemeteries on the Western Front including Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. He was also responsible for four Memorials to the Missing including those to the South Africans at Delville Wood and the Indians at Neuve Chapelle. Widely regarded as his English commemorative masterpiece, his war memorial cloister at Winchester College is listed at Grade II and is one of twenty four war memorials designed by Baker in England. During the inter-war years his work at home included South Africa House (Grade II*), Rhodes House (Grade II*) and, his last major public commission, the Bank of England (Grade I).
MATERIALS: Portland stone, rubble-stone.
DESCRIPTION: Cobham War Memorial stands next to the road at the junction of Lodge Lane and Cobhambury Road, raised from street level by a low rubble-stone plinth. To either side there are curved steps leading to a lawn at the rear. The memorial consists of a plain wheel-head cross with a tapering, lozenge-sectioned, shaft and moulded foot. That stands on a two-stage, octagonal base.
The principal dedicatory inscription runs around the upper stage of the base, starting from the front face, reading TO THE MEMORY/ OF THE MEN/ OF COBHAM/ WHO DIED FOR/ THEIR COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ + 1914-1918 +/ SIC ITER AD ASTRA. Below this are inscribed the names of those who lost their lives in the First World War. The lower stage of the base bears the inscription ALSO TO THE MEMORY/ OF THOSE WHO GAVE/ THEIR LIVES 1939-1945 also with names below.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: in front of the steps are pairs of bollards each carrying a short chain. The bollards and chains are not of special interest.
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, 30 November 2016.