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Eastbourne War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Meads, East Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7667 / 50°45'59"N

Longitude: 0.285 / 0°17'5"E

OS Eastings: 561232

OS Northings: 98830

OS Grid: TV612988

Mapcode National: GBR MV8.T0F

Mapcode Global: FRA C7H2.0VF

Entry Name: Eastbourne War Memorial

Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21

County: East Sussex

District: Eastbourne

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Locality: Meads

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Listing Date: 13 February 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1441521

Summary

First World War memorial with sculpture by Henry Charles Fehr, with additions for the Second World War and for subsequent conflicts.

Description

MATERIALS: Granite memorial with bronze sculpture and plaques.

DESCRIPTION: Eastbourne War Memorial stands on the roundabout at the top of Devonshire Place. It consists of a tall square pedestal which supports a bronze figure of the Angel of Victory, standing with one foot on a wreathed globe and holding aloft a sword and wreath. The pedestal has a stepped top above a cavetto cornice, with bronze mounts of winged cherubic heads on the top corners and dolphins on the bottom, and a moulded base. There is a bronze wreath between the cherubs on the front south face over a bronze plaque with raised lettering reading THE TRIBUTE OF/ EASTBOURNE/ TO HER GALLANT/ SONS AND DAUGHTERS/ WHO WERE FAITHFUL/ UNTO DEATH/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1918/ THEIR NAMES/ ARE RECORDED/ ON OAK TABLETS/ IN THE TOWN HALL. The plinth has a moulded base and stands on two steps.

A matching plaque has been added to the north face with WORLD/ WAR/ II within a wreath and below THOSE WHO DIED/ 1939 – 1945 WE/ WILL/ REMEMBER THEM.

A mismatched plaque for subsequent conflicts, with a gilded border, wreath and lettering, has been added on the east side.

History

The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England, 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.

Eastbourne War Memorial was commissioned in 1919 and unveiled on 10 November 1920 by General The Lord Horne GCB KCMG ADC. It carries no names, but over 1,000 names of the fallen are inscribed on oak panels in the Town Hall.

The sculptor was Henry Charles Fehr (1867-1940), who used the same figure at several other locations. Fehr was a distinguished and prolific sculptor whose work was stylistically close to the ‘New Sculpture’ movement - the late-C19 renaissance in British sculpture which rejected the stylised neo-classicism of conventional figure sculpture in favour of naturalistic, often allegorical, forms. Fehr produced many fine public sculptures and war memorials and some exceptional work for civic buildings, notably Middlesex Guildhall, Westminster, West Riding County Hall, Wakefield, and Cardiff City Hall. A number of his war memorials are listed in the higher grade of Grade II* including those at Colchester, Keighley and Burton upon Trent.

A plaque has been added to Eastbourne War Memorial for the Second World War, and one for subsequent conflicts.

Reasons for Listing

Eastbourne War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: the ensemble as a whole is of considerable merit in terms of its composition, craftsmanship and high quality materials;
* Sculptural interest: a notable example of the work of the distinguished sculptor Henry Fehr with finely modelled and detailed bronze statuary.

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