War Memorials and Remembrance
It is not known how many First World War memorials there are, so widespread was the nation's grief, but there are certainly tens of thousands in Britain. Only around 2,000 free-standing ones are currently listed. Historic England is committed to doubling this number over the centenary period 2014-2018.
No area of our heritage is more poignant than war memorials. They are found everywhere, and link the tragic impact of world wars with local communities across the land. Every community sent people off to fight and work; virtually all suffered losses, and the absence of the British Empire's 1.1 million dead created a powerful need for monuments. No greater wave of public remembrance has ever happened in history.
Memorials took many forms, and in some places the war was commemorated by dedicated parks and gardens, village halls, tree planting, church lychgates and playing fields.
Now that the last veterans of the 1914-1918 conflict have died, it is left to future generations to keep the memories fresh, with communities taking an ever-greater interest in their local memorials.
The following links tell the stories of memorials in England connected to notable First World War events or people:
- Home from the war: what happened to disabled First World War veterans
- An introduction to ‘Thankful Villages’
- 6 things you may not know about POWs in England during the First World War
- Life behind the wire: rare images of Prisoner of War Camps
- War memorials of the north: then & now
- Forgotten Seafarers of the First World War
- 7 places with First World War connections to the Commonwealth
- 100 years of the Royal Air Force
- Forgotten heroes of the First World War
- Hidden in plain sight: echoes of the First World War
- A brief history of tanks (and the memorials that depict them)
- 7 Unusual War Memorials
- Remembered: The Battle of Passchendaele
- Air Raid: The Tragedy of Upper North Street School
- The War Memorials of Herbert Baker
- 9 Unusual War Memorials
- 8 Memorials to Animals in the First World War
- The Silvertown Tragedy: Explosion on the Home Front (19 January 1917)
- 7 Things You May Not Know About the Battle of the Somme
- Sir Edwin Lutyens' war memorials
- The execution of Edith Cavell (12 October 1915)
Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.