Pirbright War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
St. Michael & All Angels Church, Church Lane, Pirbright, Woking, Woking, GU24 0JJ


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1461910.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 27-Nov-2021 at 07:45:51.


Statutory Address:
St. Michael & All Angels Church, Church Lane, Pirbright, Woking, Woking, GU24 0JJ

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

Guildford (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War memorial, unveiled 1920 with a Second World War commemorative plaque added .

Reasons for Designation

Pirbright War Memorial at the Church of St Michael and All Angels 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:

* as a finely carved wooden Calvary cross monument by Frederick Brook Hitch, a prominent British sculptor of the period.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Michael and All Angels (Grade II*) along with the Stanley Memorial and Church Cottage (both Grade II) .


The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. 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 Pirbright War Memorial was unveiled 13 August 1920 by the Bishop of Guildford, John Randolph (1866-1936) to commemorate 48 local men who fell in the First World War. The Calvary cross memorial was designed by Frederick Brook Hitch (1897-1957), a prominent British sculptor of the early C20 also responsible for significant London memorials, including the Submariners Memorial (listed Grade II*; NHLE 1079109) and the memorial plaques for the Animals War Memorial Dispensary (Grade II; NHLE 1359403). Following the Second World War, the names of the local men who died in this conflict were inscribed on an additional memorial plaque. The memorial remains in generally good condition (in 2019). Minor maintenance work, including the repointing of split and loose joints was conducted in August 2017.


First World War memorial of 1920 by Frederick Brook Hitch.

MATERIALS: stone with carved wooden cross and figure of Christ.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial consists of a finely-carved wooden Calvary cross on a four-step stone plinth. At the base there are four rectangular stone plaques laid horizontally amongst square paving stones. The frontal plaque carries the inscription “GREATER LOVE / HATH NO MAN / THAN THIS THAT / A MAN LAY / DOWN HIS LIFE / FOR HIS FRIENDS” (John 15:13). The two flanking stones bear the names of 48 of the fallen from the First World War, and another later plaque, set to the rear, marks 11 of the fallen from the Second World War.


Imperial War Museums, accessed 5 December 2018 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/23366
Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951: Frederick Brook Hitch (1897-1957), accessed 5 December 2018 from https://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib2_1207262269
War Memorials Online, accessed 5 December 2018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/100753


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].