East Greenwich Gas Works War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1460005

Date first listed: 09-Oct-2018

Location Description:

Statutory Address: West Parkside Road, London, SE10 0FQ

Map

Ordnance survey map of East Greenwich Gas Works War Memorial
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Location

Statutory Address: West Parkside Road, London, SE10 0FQ

Location Description:

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

County: Greater London Authority

District: Greenwich (London Borough)

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference: TQ3977179290

Summary

First World War memorial, unveiled in 1926. Dedicated to members of the East Greenwich section of the South Metropolitan Gas Company, who lost their lives in the First World War.

Reasons for Designation

East Greenwich Gas Works War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest: * as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of the First World War on this local community, and the sacrifice it, and especially employees of the South Metropolitan Gas Company, made in that conflict.

Architectural interest: * a poignant, understated and less conventional example of a war memorial.

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, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

This particular memorial was unveiled by Dr Charles Carpenter, President of the South Metropolitan Gas Company, on Saturday 18 September 1926, in memory of former employees who lost their lives during the First World War. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Southwark, Sir George Hume MP (Chairman of the London City Council), in presence of relatives of the fallen. The Mayor of Greenwich, Fred Thorne, members of Greenwich Borough Council, officials of the company and other bodies, were also present. A guard of honour was provided by the 302nd Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Royal Engineers with singing led by the Metrogas Choral Society and Military Band.

The memorial was originally located in a pleasure garden located near to the entrance of the former gas works, facing Blakeley Cottages in Tunnel Avenue. Following the closure of the gas works in the 1980s and subsequent redevelopment of the site, the memorial was moved to its present location in Millennium Complex Central Park and re-dedicated in 1999.

The memorial stands on a square pavement of stone setts* within a grassed area backed by trees and informal planting laid out in the 1980s.

Details

First World War memorial unveiled in 1926.

MATERIALS: grey Aberdeen granite.

DESCRIPTION: the South Metropolitan Gas Company Workers Memorial comprises a monolith, with roughly hewn sides and a polished front face. The face contains an inscription and the names of the 79 employees of the company who died during the First World War.

The principal dedicatory inscription, located at the top of the front face, reads TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE GRATEFUL/ MEMORY OF THOSE EMPLOYEES OF THE SOUTH/ METROPOLITAN GAS COMPANY ATTACHED TO/ THE EAST GREENWICH, PHOENIX WHARF, AND/ ORDNANCE WHARF WORKS, WHO, IN RESPONSE/ TO THE CALL OF THEIR KING AND COUNTRY,/ SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES DURING THE GREAT WAR. Below are the names of the 79 fallen individuals, along with their rank and regiment, or which force they served in.

* 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.

Sources

Websites
Greenwich Peninsula History, accessed 4 September, 2018 from https://greenwichpeninsulahistory.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/dedication-of-the-gas-works-war-memorial/comment-page-1/
War Memorials Online, accessed 4 September, 2018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/196772/
War Memorials Register, accessed 4 September, 2018 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/11866

End of official listing