Earl Stonham War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
St Mary's Church, Earl Stonham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 5EB


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Statutory Address:
St Mary's Church, Earl Stonham, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 5EB

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

Mid Suffolk (District Authority)
Stonham Earl
National Grid Reference:


A war memorial dating to 1921, standing in the churchyard of St Mary’s, Earl Stonham, Suffolk.

Reasons for Designation

Earl Stonham War Memorial in St Mary's churchyard, Earl Stonham, Suffolk, unveiled in 1921, 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 sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* as a simple but well-executed and detailed Latin cross memorial.

Group value:

* with the Grade I-listed Church of St Mary.


The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the 19th century. Prior to then memorials were rare and were mainly dedicated to individual officers, or sometimes regiments. The first large-scale erection of war memorials dedicated to the ordinary soldier followed the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, which was the first major war following reforms to the British Army which led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. However, it was the aftermath of the First World War that was the great age of memorial building, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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.

The memorial at Earl Stonham stands within the churchyard of St Mary's Church (listed Grade I). The cross was first unveiled 16 January 1921 by the Earl of Cadogan (http://www.roll-of-honour.com/, accessed 2018), and was reported in the East Anglian Daily Times on 17 January 1921. The memorial lists the 15 names of the men of the village who were killed in the First World War and the memorial also commemorates a resident of the village who was killed in the Second World War. His name is incised on the western step of the memorial and is also included on the Roll of Honour which is kept within the church.


A war memorial unveiled in 1921, standing in the churchyard of St Mary’s, Earl Stonham, Suffolk.

MATERIALS: the memorial comprises a marble cross standing atop a column of portland stone itself standing on a granite base.

PLAN: the memorial is octagonal on plan and stands on a square base and is surrounded by a low chain and metal-post railing.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is an ornately carved Latin cross standing on a finial composed of a miniature stepped base atop the capital of a slim octagonal column itself with a moulded base. The column stands on an octagonal base of two tall steps and a small half step between. The inscriptions are incised on the panels of the steps. On the upper step is incised: TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF EARL STONHAM/ WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918. On the lower step are listed the 15 names of the fallen from the first war.

Below is inscribed: SO THEY PASSED OVER AND LET THE TRUMPET SOUND ON THE OTHER SIDE. The name from the second war is incised on the upper western step, below 1939-1945.


Earl Stonham - WW1 and WW2 Cross - Imperial War Museum, accessed 15/10/2018 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/4741
Earl Stonham War Memorial - www.Roll of Honour.com, accessed 15/10/2018 from http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Suffolk/EarlStonham.html
War Memorials Online - Earl Stonham War Memorial, accessed 15/10/2018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/117956


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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