Sway War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Junction of Pitmore Lane and Brockenhurst Road, Sway, New Forest, SO41 6AL


Ordnance survey map of Sway War Memorial
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Statutory Address:
Junction of Pitmore Lane and Brockenhurst Road, Sway, New Forest, SO41 6AL

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

New Forest (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial cross, 1921, by WA Hoare of Boscombe.

Reasons for Designation

Sway War Memorial, 1921, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* it is 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:

* it is a well-designed monument of good-quality construction, and it survives well.


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.

Sway War Memorial is one such example, which was raised as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by those who lost their lives in the conflict. The designer was WA Hoare of Boscombe, and the local newspaper reported that the wreath was carved by his personal friend, who was also responsible for those on the Whitehall Cenotaph; the stone, too, is said to have come from the same Portland quarry as was used for Whitehall. The cost of £250 was raised by public subscription, and the memorial was unveiled by General Sir Henry Lawrence KCB on 10 April 1921, in a ceremony attended by a number of local dignitaries.

The inscription on the war memorial is taken from one specially written by the Revd TF Royds for the war dead. Royds's verse was included in a selection published by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1919 called 'Inscriptions Suggested for War Memorials'. It included extracts from the Bible, literature and Classical antiquity, intended to encourage memorial committees to choose inscriptions of ‘literal quality. It reads: "SONS OF THIS PLACE LET THIS OF YOU BE SAID, / THAT YOU WHO LIVE ARE WORTHY OF YOUR DEAD. / THESE GAVE THEIR LIVES THAT YOU WHO LIVE MAY REAP / A RICHER HARVEST ERE YOU FALL ASLEEP."

In common with other First World War memorials, it was added to following the Second World War. Renovation was undertaken in 2018.


First World War memorial cross, 1921, by WA Hoare of Boscombe.

MATERIALS: constructed from Portland stone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is a carved Celtic cross with the hilt of a moulded long sword at the crux, and the blade running down the tapering square shaft. It is set on a square plinth on a stepped base. On the front, south-west face of the plinth, is a moulded wreath with ‘1914 / 1919’ incised in the centre. On the opposite side is the inscription ‘TO THE GLORY OF GOD / AND IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF / THE MEN OF SWAY WHO FELL / IN THE GREAT WAR’, followed by Royds’s verse. The south-west and north-east sides have the 30 names and regiments of the dead.

Sloping tablets have been added to the base of the south-west and south-east sides; the former records the names of an additional six men lost in the First World War, and the latter is dedicated to the 14 fallen soldiers of the Second World War.

The memorial is surrounded by concrete paving and is enclosed by metal railings.


‘Sway – WWI and WWII’, Imperial War Museums War Memorial Register, accessed 11/04/2018 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/40545
‘War Memorials in the New Forest: Unveiling Ceremonies at Lyndhurst and Sway’, The Hampshire Advertiser County Newspaper, 15 April 1921, p9


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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