A First World War civic memorial, 1921 designed by the architect JW Hammond, recording the names of the fallen of that conflict and the service and the civilian dead of the Second World War.
Reasons for Designation
Romford War Memorial erected in 1921, and moved to its current location in 1970, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* 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.
* although it has been moved, it retains its interest as an elegant monument, which is redolent of its interwar date.
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 Romford, 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 was dedicated on 18 September 1921 by Lord Lambourne, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, at an event recorded in the Romford Times. The architect was JW Hammond.
It carries the names of 361 servicemen lost in the First World War. Originally inscribed TO/ THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND/ IN MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF ROMFORD/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES /FOR THEIR KING AND COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1919, the inscription was amended to include the dates of the Second World War and to pluralise ‘WARS’, but the main commemoration for that conflict was the Romford War Memorial Old Folks (now Social) Club, opened in 1953.
In 1970 the memorial was moved from its original location in Laurie Square to allow for the construction of the ring road. The memorial was re-dedicated on 10 November 1996, and possibly at this time the inscription was amended to refer to the Second World War.
In 2014, the names of 255 servicemen lost in the Second World War and 141 civilians, including 55 lost in one night of the Blitz, were added to the memorial.
War memorial, 1921, designed by the architect JW Hammond.
MATERIALS: Portland stone.
DESCRIPTION: Romford War Memorial now forms the centerpiece of Coronation Gardens, near the Grade II-listed Town Hall.
It consists of a plain wheel-head cross on a tall tapering plinth with a moulded cap and base on a two-stepped plinth. Sunken panels on the faces of the plinth are inscribed on the front with TO/ THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND/ IN MEMORY OF/ THE/ PEOPLE OF ROMFORD/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR KING AND COUNTRY/ IN THE WARS OF/ 1914-1919/ 1939-1945/ THEIR NAME LIVETH/ FOR EVERMORE and on the sides with 361 names.
Stone slabs added to the base of the memorial have the names of 141 civilians who fell in the Second World War on the upper step and the 255 servicemen who fell on the lower.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: A Burma Star memorial stone adjoins the cross.