Godalming War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Churchyard of St Peter and St Paul, Borough Road, Godalming, Surrey
Statutory Address:
Phillips Memorial Park, Godalming, Surrey


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Statutory Address:
Churchyard of St Peter and St Paul, Borough Road, Godalming, Surrey
Statutory Address:
Phillips Memorial Park, Godalming, Surrey

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Waverley (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, erected 25 September 1921, by A R Powys, with Second World War additions.

Reasons for Designation

Godalming War Memorial, which is situated against the retaining wall between the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul and the Phillips Memorial 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 this local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* A simple yet striking Latin cross memorial, a design which is cleverly enhanced by its positioning within the landscape;

* Designed by the notable architect A R Powys.

Group value:

* With the Grade II-listed monuments in the churchyard, the Grade I-listed Church of St Peter and St Paul and the Grade II-listed Phillips Memorial Cloister.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Godalming as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorial is situated in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul; it stands on a platform which rests against a retaining wall and overlooks the Phillips Memorial Park. The park was named in memory of John George (Jack) Phillips, the Chief Wireless Telegraphist on the RMS Titanic, and was laid out in 1914 by the notable landscape architect, Gertrude Jekyll. The architect H Thackery Turner designed the associated Phillips Memorial Cloister (Grade II-listed) in 1913.

Following the end of the First World War initial proposals for a peace garden and commemorative park failed to gain public approval. However, in 1921 a locally formed committee (of which Jekyll and Turner were thought to be members) commissioned a memorial cross. Faculty was granted on 16 May 1921 for the erection of a memorial cross and stone tablet to be inserted into the churchyard wall facing into the park. Another memorial taking the form of a lead tablet naming the fallen, which was to be placed within the church, was also granted permission at this time. The cross and lead tablet were designed by the architectural partner of Turner, A R Powys of Balfour and Turner and was built by Humphreys of Godalming. The memorial cross was designed to be equally visible from the churchyard or park. It was dedicated on Sunday 25 September 1921, presided over by the Reverend Fanshawe, vicar of Godalming. The stone tablet carried a dedication to the men of the town who fell in the war and stated that their names were on the lead tablet in the church. Two yew trees were planted either side of the memorial in 1922; it is believed they were planted by Turner and Jekyll.

The cross was originally erected to remember those from the congregation of St Peter and St Paul, but later became the focus for Godalming’s Remembrance Services. The stone tablet in the wall was replaced in 1992 and two new plaques were affixed to the retaining wall in the same position. These consisted of a plaque again directing people to the tablet in the parish church which records the names of 105 men who died during the First World War. The other is dedicated to the 108 servicemen and 1 woman, Patricia Wren, who died during the Second World War and includes their names.

Patricia Wren was a nurse in the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service, stationed with the 93rd British General Hospital. She died on 3 July 1945 at the age of 24.

Albert Reginald Powys (1882-1936), was an architect known for his work on preserving ancient buildings. He succeeded Turner as secretary to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and in 1928 he published his classic reference book ‘Repair of Ancient Buildings’. Powys also designed a First World War memorial oak tablet in dedication to the Branksome School Old Boys and this is attached to the back of the choir stalls in St Peter and St Paul’s church. His war memorial at the South End of Memorial Drive, Leeds is listed at Grade II.


First World War memorial, 1921, with Second World War additions.

The memorial is situated on a platform against the retaining wall between the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul and the Phillips Memorial Park. To the south of the memorial are numerous Grade II-listed monuments in the churchyard and it is in close proximity to the Grade I-listed Church of St Peter and St Paul. To the north, within the park, is the Grade II-listed Phillips Memorial Cloister.

It takes the form of a Doulting stone Latin cross with a hexagonal shaft with moulded foot. This rises from a two-tiered plinth; each tier is tapered, with the upper tier being smaller and hexagonal in shape while the lower is larger and is in the shape of a 12-pointed star. The plinth surmounts a single-stepped base, which is also in the shape of a 12-pointed star. The plinth is incised with the dates of the wars. To the north side, which faces into the park, it reads 1914/ 1918 on the upper tier with 1939/ 1945 directly below on the lower tier. This is repeated on the south side, which faces the churchyard.

The memorial stands on a hexagonal platform of roughly-coursed, Doulting stone blocks, which rests against (and is level with the height of) the retaining wall that forms the northern boundary of the churchyard. On the other side of the wall is the Phillips Memorial Park and here the ground level drops. To the park side there is a three-stepped, paved platform leading up to two black granite plaques carrying the names and inscriptions in gold lettering, which are affixed to the wall.

The large plaque is directly below the memorial cross and is dedicated: IN MEMORY OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS TOWN WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE WAR 1939 – 1945. The 109 names are inscribed in columns below. The smaller plaque is underneath and reads: IN MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF THIS TOWN/ WHO FELL IN THE/ 1914-1918 WAR/ THEIR NAMES ARE ON THE/ TABLET IN THE CHURCH.

The retaining wall is of roughly-coursed, stone blocks with rounded stone coping; there is no coping to the wall directly beneath the memorial. To either side of the memorial cross, the wall projects forward into the park to form a point before sloping back to join the retaining wall.

There are wooden park benches* affixed to the stepped platform, situated to either side of the plaques.

* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.


‘History of Phillips Memorial Park’, Waverley Borough Council, accessed 31 May 2017 from http://www.waverley.gov.uk/info/200073/parks_and_countryside/740/phillips_memorial_park_and_cloister_godalming/2
Godalming Museum, accessed 01 June 2017 from http://www.godalmingmuseum.org.uk/index.php?page=4-55
'Godalming Old Contemptibles at the War Memorial 1947', Godalming Joint Burial Committee, accessed 29 June 2017 from http://www.godalming-jbc.gov.uk/Ancestry/godalming-first-world-war-commemorations
Godalming War Memorial 1939-1945, accessed 01 June 2017 from http://www.godalming-war-memorial.org.uk/wrenp.html
War Memorials Online, accessed 31 May 2017 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/157496/
War memorials Register, accessed 31 May 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/23625
‘Godalming gets a war memorial 47 years late’, The Advertiser, (8 May 1992).
Faculty Papers (London Metropolitan Archives DWOP/G22)
Smith, T G, ‘Our Godalming Heritage. A Personal View’, The Pepperpot, (November 2010), pp26.
The Surrey Advertiser, (28 September 1921)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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