Wanstead War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1455386

Date first listed: 24-Apr-2018

Statutory Address: Memorial Green, High Street, Wanstead, E11 2SS

Map

Ordnance survey map of Wanstead War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address: Memorial Green, High Street, Wanstead, E11 2SS

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

County: Greater London Authority

District: Redbridge (London Borough)

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference: TQ4032888688

Summary

First World War memorial designed by Newbury Abbot Trent, unveiled 1922.

Reasons for Designation

Wanstead 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 the local community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* for the elegant and finely-modelled figure of winged Victory by Newbury Abbot Trent, a notable sculptor of the early C20.

History

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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Wanstead as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

Wanstead War Memorial, commemorating those from Wanstead Urban District who died in the First World War, was paid for by public subscription at a cost of £1,800. It was unveiled on 30 April 1922 by the local dignitary and businessman, Sir James Roll, who had been Lord Mayor of London the previous year. The memorial carries 199 names, although subsequent research has indicated that the death toll was actually around 320. Following the Second World War the names of the local men who fell in that conflict were inscribed on a separate stone plaque and added to the memorial. A further small plaque has been added to the base to commemorate a serviceman who died in the Afghanistan conflict.

The sculptor responsible for the memorial, Newbury Abbot Trent (1885-1953), studied at the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy, later becoming an Associate Member of the Royal Academy. Throughout his career Trent worked from a studio at 1 Beaufort Street, London. Significant public works include the Edward VII Memorial, Brighton (Grade II), and a number of war memorials listed at Grade II, including those at New Barnet, Beckenham and Ilford.

Details

First World War memorial designed by Newbury Abbot Trent, unveiled 1922

MATERIALS: Portland stone pedestal, cast bronze figure, green marble plaque and black granite plinth.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial stands to the north-east of Memorial Green, a detached section of Epping Forest, known as Tarzy Wood. It consists of a tall Portland stone pedestal, the upper section tapering, with a stepped base, supported on a stepped black granite plinth and stone platform. The pedestal is surmounted by a bronze figure of Victory crowned with a laurel wreath, wings outstretched, her right arm raised and her left hand holding a palm branch.

On the front face of the pedestal a green marble plaque with incised gilded lettering reads:

‘MEN OF WANSTEAD / WHOM THEIR NEIGHBOURS / HEREBY COMMEMORATE / HERE NUMBERED AMONG / THOSE WHO IN THE / GREAT WAR / AT THE CALL OF / KING AND COUNTRY / LEFT ALL THAT WAS / DEAR TO THEM / ENDURED HARDSHIP / FACED DANGER AND / FINALLY PASSED OUT OF / THE SIGHT OF MEN BY / THE PATH OF DUTY AND / SELF SACRIFICE GIVING UP / THEIR OWN LIVES THAT / OTHERS MIGHT / LIVE IN / FREEDOM / LET THOSE WHO COME AFTER / SEE TO IT THAT THEIR / SACRIFICE WAS NOT IN VAIN / 1914-1918’

The head of the plaque is carved with a shield, crown and furled flags. Below, a stone plaque is inscribed:

'AND IN MEMORY OF THOSE / MEN AND WOMEN WHO LAID / DOWN THEIR LIVES / IN THE 1939-1945 WAR / WE WILL REMEMBER THEM'

The four faces of the pedestal’s lower section are carved with the 199 names of the fallen. A small plaque on the base commemorates a serviceman who died in the Afghanistan conflict.

Sources

Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, O'Brien, C, The Buildings of England: London 5 East , (2005), 362
Websites
Imperial War Museums: War Memorials Register, accessed 7 March 2018 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/2127
London Borough of Rebridge website: Redbridge and the First World War, accessed 7 March 2018 from http://www.redbridgefirstworldwar.org.uk/memorials/wanstead-war-memorial
War Memorials Online, accessed 7 March 20018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/120440
Other
The Essex Chronicle, 5 May 1922

End of official listing