7 War Memorial Listed In The East of England Ahead of Remembrance Weekend
Ahead of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday (Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November 2023), 7 First World War memorials in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex and Bedfordshire have been listed at Grade II by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on the advice of Historic England.
Built in the aftermath of the First World War (1914 to 1918), the recently listed memorials are among tens of thousands that were erected across England in memory of the many people who lost their lives in the conflict. In place of graves, these memorials became focal points for local communities to mourn and honour their dead.
Many of the war memorials also have plaques commemorating those lost during the Second World War.
Cheveley War Memorial, Cambridgeshire
The tall and imposing Cheveley War Memorial is a Latin budded cross atop an octagonal pillar. The lower step of the base is incised with THEIR NAME LIVETH EVERMORE.
On the upper step of the plinth four bronze plates are mounted, with raised lettering. The front face bears the dedication REMEMBER/ THE CHEVELEY MEN WHO/ GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR/ COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1919.
The other three plates bear the names of 22 local people who lost their lives in the First World War. A matching bronze panel remembers two men who fell in the Second World War. Another engraved plate on the plinth, in black and gold, depicts a soldier resting on his arms.
Kirtling and Upend War Memorial, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire
Kirtling and Upend War Memorial stands proudly on the green at the junction of Cowlinge Road and Newmarket Road. A Celtic cross resting on a square plinth and three-stepped base, it is set within a small square gravelled area, defined by a low stone kerb.
On the plinth is inscribed ‘Lest we forget/ To the glory of God/ And in grateful memory/ of the men of Kirtling/ who gave their lives in the Great War/ 1914-1918’, followed by 14 names inscribed in the step below. Underneath the inscription on the plinth is a small metal plaque with the dates 1939 to 1945 and the names of 3 men who fell in the Second World War.
Goffs Oak War Memorial, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire
Goffs Oak War Memorial, built in the form of a cenotaph, stands in the historic centre of the village.
It was unveiled on 18 December 1920 at a ceremony attended by Admiral Sir Hedworth Meux G.C.B. K.C.V.O. Inscribed on the memorial are the names of the two architects, T Llewelyn Daniel and Raymond E Arnold, and the name of the stonemason, J W Hanchett, Waltham Abbey.
On the front face of the cenotaph, at the top, is a plain stone tablet bearing the dates 1914-1918. Below this on the plinth is a moulded rectangular stone tablet inscribed IN/ MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF/ GOFFS OAK/ WHO/ LAID DOWN/ THEIR LIVES/ IN THE/ GREAT WAR, surmounted by a carved laurel wreath.
The names of 32 men who lost their lives in the First World War are inscribed on the other 3 faces of the plinth. On the rear side of the cenotaph is mounted a plain stone tablet with the dates 1939 to 1945, along with the names of 3 men who died during the Second World War.
Althorne War Memorial, Chelmsford, Essex
Althorne War Memorial, raised in 1926, was designed by W Savage Cooper and constructed by volunteers, largely the fathers and brothers of those commemorated on the memorial. The memorial was unveiled by Sir Arnold Wilson and dedicated by the Bishop of Barking at a very well attended ceremony.
It was built on land gifted to the parish by the London and North Eastern Railway Company and is unusual in its design, being a public shelter in the form of a lychgate.
Above the seat backs is a large bronze tablet, with wreath and laurel branches in relief, which was made by Messrs Crittall, the pioneering manufacturer of steel-framed windows, which was established in Essex.
The names of the 18 men who lost their lives in the First World War are listed on the memorial. Under the main plaque, a small separate bronze plaque bears the dates 1939 to 1945 and the names of the 2 men who fell in the Second World War.
Little Thetford War Memorial, Little Thetford, Cambridgeshire
The Little Thetford Celtic wheel cross war memorial was erected in the Little Thetford village cemetery, and although the date of dedication is unclear, the cemetery was established by 1925. In March 1921, a Roll of Honour was unveiled in the parish church and it is possible the war memorial was erected around that time.
The architect and sculptor responsible for the memorial are not known. The memorial commemorates 14 individuals from the parish of Little Thetford who lost their lives serving their country; 12 names from the First World War and 2 from the Second World War.
Lode War Memorial, Cambridgeshire
Lode War Memorial, a Celtic wheel cross on a tapering plinth, was dedicated on 4 March 1923. It sits on a prominent site in the village which was created by moving the boundary to the churchyard of the parish Church of St James (listed at Grade II) eastwards, leaving a semi-circular area set back from the pavement.
The architect and sculptor responsible for the memorial are not known. The memorial commemorates 19 individuals from the parish of Lode who lost their lives in conflict; 14 names from the First World War and 5 from the Second World War.
Flitwick War Memorial, Flitwick, Bedfordshire
The memorial at Flitwick stands at the junction of Kings Road and Station Road in the centre of the town. It consists of a Celtic cross with a sword carved in relief on its front (north west) elevation.
Below the cross the plinth is inscribed: ‘IN GRATEFUL AND GLORIOUS MEMORY OF / THE MEN OF THIS PARISH / WHO FOUGHT, AND OF THE FOLLOWING WHO / FELL IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918’ and the 29 names of the men who lost their lives in the First World War.
The memorial was unveiled in October 1920 at a ceremony attended by the Duke of Bedford and local dignitaries. Following the Second World War a further 14 names were added to the memorial.
The long roll of honour inscribed on memorials across the land are a powerful and poignant reminder of the huge sacrifices made by so many families during the two World Wars. Each year, we recommit ourselves to ensuring that the names of those who laid down their lives in our defence will never be forgotten. I am glad that these memorials are being listed so that the names they proudly bear will live for evermore.
These war memorials are an important reminder of local people who gave their lives, in two world wars, to secure the freedom we enjoy today. Behind the names on these listed war memorials are people whose stories we should discover and remember, to ensure that they are not forgotten and that younger generations learn their story, too. We’d love to see your information or family story added to the record of your local listed war memorial.