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Latitude: 51.3853 / 51°23'6"N
Longitude: 1.3375 / 1°20'15"E
OS Eastings: 632321
OS Northings: 170422
OS Grid: TR323704
Mapcode National: GBR WZX.2Z4
Mapcode Global: VHLG6.4FFX
Entry Name: Westgate-on-Sea British Legion War Memorial
Location: Thanet, Kent, CT8
Parish: Non Civil Parish
Traditional County: Kent
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent
Listing Date: 27 February 2017
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1443700
First World War memorial, unveiled 1923, with later additions.
Westgate-on-Sea War memorial is located in The Gardens, to the north of the junction of Sea Road and St Mildred’s Road. It consists of a large rough-hewn granite plinth with a plain Latin cross rising from the top. The plinth stands on a low granite base, square on plan, and is enclosed by an iron railing carried by eight iron posts.
There are two plain panels to the front face of the plinth: the upper panel carries the dedication BRITISH LEGION/ “LEST WE FORGET”/ 1914 – 1918. The lower panel has the list of the names of the fallen, recorded alphabetically in two columns.
A chamfered granite plaque fixed to the base in front of the plinth records the Second World War dedication, reading IN MEMORY/ ALSO OF THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES DURING THE 1939 – 1945 WAR THIS TABLET WAS/ ERECTED BY THE MAYOR ALDERMAN AND BURGESSES OF THE BOROUGH OF MARGATE/ A.D. 1951/ (NAMES). A precisely similar granite plaque fixed to the base to the right of the plinth reads (NAME) 2003.
This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 3 March 2017.
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. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.
Formal discussions about a suitable war memorial for Westgate-on-Sea began in February 1919. In 1920 four and a half acres of land on Lymington Road were bought to be a recreation ground, and in October the deeds were conveyed to the local authority. Members of the former Westgate-on-Sea Branch of the British Legion, however, wanted a monument as a focus for annual Remembrance Day parades, and so erected the war memorial on Sea Road in 1923.
The memorial was designed by Mr CT Elliott and Sons of Ramsgate and Broadstairs. It had previously been announced that it was to be unveiled by Lord Carson but he was unable to do so due to illness. In the event, the memorial was both unveiled and dedicated by the Suffragan Bishop of Croydon on 4 August 1923.
The memorial commemorates 77 local servicemen and two civilians who died during the First World War. On 4 May 1952 a new plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Margate, Mrs BM Giles, commemorating the 29 fallen of the Second World War. That plaque was dedicated by both the Vicar of St Saviour’s Church, Reverend WEM Williams, and the Congregational Church Minister, Reverend D Davies.
A further tablet was unveiled on 10 August 2014 listing the name of one sailor who died in the Iraq war in 2003. Shortly before that tablet was unveiled, Thanet District Council undertook repairs to the metal posts surrounding the memorial.
Westgate-on-Sea British Legion War Memorial, which stands in The Gardens on Sea Road, 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 local community, and the sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20 and C21;
* Architectural interest: a rugged memorial in granite.
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