Lambeth Civilian War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Lambeth Cemetery, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London, SW17 0BY


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Statutory Address:
Lambeth Cemetery, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London, SW17 0BY

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

Greater London Authority
Wandsworth (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Civilian war memorial, erected in 1952. Restored circa 2008.

Reasons for Designation

The Lambeth Civilian War Memorial in Lambeth Cemetery, Tooting, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* as a dignified and poignant testament to the impact of Second World War bombing on the community of Lambeth;

Architectural interest:

* for its striking and spacious design, combining a wall for contemplating the names of the fallen with a sculptural element in the form of the symbolic chest tomb, and a landscape element in the form of enclosed grassed areas.


The memorial commemorates civilians killed by aerial bombardment in Lambeth during the Second World War. The memorial bears about 360 names, and its inscription suggests that the names are those of people buried in a mass grave at the site of the memorial. It is thought that altogether some 1646 Lambeth civilians were killed during the Second World War. Lambeth’s greatest loss of life took place in Kennington Park in October 1940, when 104 people were killed by a direct hit to a trench shelter. The Lambeth Civilian War Memorial was erected and unveiled in 1952. In circa 2008 it was restored, and the bronze plaques replaced with resin copies.

The memorial is set at the south-east corner of Lambeth Cemetery, Tooting, in the London Borough of Wandsworth. The cemetery opened in 1854, and has unlisted Gothic lodges and chapels of that date by F. K. Wehnert and J. Ashdown. The south-west corner of the cemetery contains war memorials to those who fought in the First and Second World Wars, as well as Commonwealth burials of both conflicts.


Civilian war memorial, 1952. Restored circa 2008.

MATERIALS: Portland stone. The original cast bronze plaques with raised lettering made by H H Martins were replaced by resin copies circa 2008.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial consists of a stepped stone wall, facing north-west, curved inwards and terminating in two piers with shallow pyramidal caps. The central raised section holds a carved panel with the Lambeth coat of arms. The motto beneath reads ‘SPECTEMUR AGENDO’ (‘let us be judged by our conduct’). The bronze plaque beneath reads: ‘1939/1945 / IN MEMORY / of / THOSE CITIZENS OF LAMBETH / WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN / THE AERIAL BOMBARDMENT / OF LONDON DURING THE / SECOND WORLD WAR / AND WERE LAID TO REST BENEATH THIS SPOT. / They died that the spirit of freedom / might live.’ To either side three plaques are set horizontally, bearing the names of those lost.

To the north-west, the wall encloses a low semi-circular dais at the centre of which is a symbolic chest tomb with an angled cross resting on it. Long planters extend to either side of the tomb. There are two wide shallow steps in front of the tomb, and narrower steps at either end leading to a path in front of the wall, from which the plaques can be viewed. The dais is completed by segmental grassed areas, bounded by a stone kerb, forming part of the memorial.


Books and journals
Smith, C, 'Lest We Forget' in Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management Journal, (2008), 41
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, accessed 19 December 2018 from,%20METROPOLITAN%20BOROUGH
Inventory of War Memorials ref 59429, accessed 7 December 2018 from
Lambeth Archives photograph dated 20 December 1952, accessed 7 December 2018 from
Lambeth civilian war dead record, accessed 7 December 2018 from,%20METROPOLITAN%20BOROUGH
Sutton and Croydon Guardian, 25 May 2010, accessed 25 January 2018 from
War Memorials Online ref 176151, accessed 7 December 2018 from


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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