First World War memorial, 1921, damaged during the Second World War and subsequently relocated, with later additions for the Second World War.
Reasons for Designation
Cowes War Memorial, which is situated in Northwood Park, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Group value: with Northwood House (Grade II*) and the former stable range of Northwood House (Grade II).
Cowes War Memorial was designed by Mr Andrew Foster MBE and built by Messrs J Ball and Son of Cowes. A service of dedication was conducted by the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church on 30 March 1921 during which the memorial was unveiled by Major-General JEB Seely CB CMG DSO JP MP.
This memorial was originally located at the junction of the High Street and Market Hill in Cowes. It consisted of a column, square on plan, of dressed Cornish granite standing c4m tall and with a carved Union Flag draped over the top, rising from a four-stepped stone base and was enclosed by a metal rail fence. A bronze plaque was attached to each face of the column. After suffering bomb damage during an air-raid on the night of 4/5 May 1942, in which the memorial’s bronze plaques were lost, the memorial was relocated to Northwood Park where it was reinstated in its partially demolished state and re-dedicated on 11 November 1951 at a ceremony led by Reverend C E Paterson and Reverend R J Robinson. The original dedication on the memorial read PRO PATRIA IN PROUD AND LOVING MEMORY OF THE MEN BELONGING/ TO THIS TOWN WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918. GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS.
The memorial now commemorates not only those local servicemen who died during the First World War, but also 73 men and one woman who died in the Second World War. A re-dedication service was held on 14 November 2010 following the addition of the two stone plaques recording the commemorated names. This work was supported by War Memorials Trust.
MATERIALS: granite memorial and stone plaques, bronze plaque, metal railings.
DESCRIPTION: the memorial is located in Northwood Park, immediately to the south of Northwood House (Grade II*) and the former stable range of Northwood House (Grade II). It consists of a three-stepped granite base from the original memorial from which rises, off-set to the side of the top step, the lower section of the granite column which also survived the Second World War air-raid. The upper section of the column is laid with the damaged end resting on the top step and the head raised and supported by the column base.
A bronze plaque on the east-facing side of the memorial reads 1914 – 1918 1939 – 1945/ THIS MEMORIAL, ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF THE/ RESIDENTS OF COWES WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE/ GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918, STOOD AT THE JUNCTION OF HIGH/ STREET AND MARKET HILL, AND WAS SEVERELY DAMAGED/ IN AN AIR RAID ON THE NIGHT OF THE 4TH – 5TH MAY 1942/ IN THE WORLD WAR 1939 – 1945./ RE-ERECTED AS A MEMORIAL TO THE TWO WARS AND TO/ THE MEMORY OF ALL WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE/ IN DEFENCE OF THEIR COUNTRY.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the memorial stands on a paved platform bounded by a low metal rail. Stone plaques, inscribed and gilded, are inset into the paved area: four to the south side and three to the north.
The plaques on the south side replicate the original First World War dedication and mark the later air-raid, reading PRO PATRIA/ IN PROUD AND/ LOVING MEMORY OF/ THE MEN BELONGING/ TO THIS TOWN/ WHO LAID DOWN/ THEIR LIVES IN THE/ GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ (NAMES)/ THE NAMES GIVEN/ REPRESENT THOSE ON/ THIS WAR MEMORIAL/ UNTIL ITS/ DESTRUCTION ON/ 4/5 MAY 1942./ NAMES IN ITALICS/ HAVE BEEN ADDED/ SUBSEQUENTLY./ THE/ ORIGINAL MEMORIAL/ WAS UNVEILED BY/ MAJ GEN J. E. B. SEELEY/ 31 MARCH 1921.
The plaques on the north side record the Second World War dedication, reading PRO PATRIA/ IN PROUD AND/ LOVING MEMORY OF/ THOSE BELONGING/ TO THIS TOWN WHO/ LOST THEIR LIVES/ IN THE/ SECOND WORLD WAR/ 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES)/ THIS MEMORIAL/ WAS REFURBISHED BY/ COWES TOWN COUNCIL/ AND REDEDICATED/ 14TH NOVEMBER 2010./ NAMES ON THE/ MEMORIAL FOR WWI/ WERE LOST DURING/ ENEMY ACTION IN 1942/ AND THOSE FOR WWII/ ARE RECORDED/ FOR THE FIRST TIME.
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, 7 December 2016.