History in Structure

Ashford War Memorial and Ornamental Gates to Garden of Remembrance

A Grade II Listed Building in Ashford, Kent

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Latitude: 51.147 / 51°8'49"N

Longitude: 0.8729 / 0°52'22"E

OS Eastings: 601037

OS Northings: 142560

OS Grid: TR010425

Mapcode National: GBR RWW.5HG

Mapcode Global: VHKKN.2FTK

Plus Code: 9F324VWF+Q5

Entry Name: Ashford War Memorial and Ornamental Gates to Garden of Remembrance

Listing Date: 7 February 2007

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391853

English Heritage Legacy ID: 496187

ID on this website: 101391853

Location: Ashford, Kent, TN23

County: Kent

District: Ashford

Electoral Ward/Division: Victoria

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Ashford (Ashford)

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Tagged with: War memorial Memorial

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750/0/10050 CHURCH ROAD

War memorial and memorial gates. 1924, with World War II additions.

The monument is built from Chilmark Portland Stone and takes the form of a tall octagonal-sectioned Latin cross surmounting a square section pedestal of roughly equal height to the cross. The pedestal is surmounted by a wide moulding and has bevelled corners framing the bronze tablets containing the names of the fallen in relief, set in double columns. Below the bronze tablets the lower part of the pedestal contains inlaid plaques on each of the four faces. That of the main (west) face reads 'They gave their lives in war that we in peace might live'. The plaque on the east side appears to be of modern date and reads 'In memory of those who gave their lives in all conflicts throughout the world'. The remaining two plaques are blank. The centre of the cross incorporates a roundel containing '1914' on the west face and '1918' on the reverse, carved in relief.

The monument is set on a large octagonal base of three low steps and with low ornamental walls of Kentish Ragstone, topped with Portland caps on those sides of the octagon facing the corners of the pedestal. To the outer faces of these walls are affixed bronze plaques containing the names of the dead of the Second World War, five per wall, surmounted by a small oblong plaque bearing the date '1939-1945'. The plaques are divided between service personnel and civilians. Among those named on the First World War memorial is Sergeant Harry Wells, 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, who was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross at the Battle of Loos in 1915.

At the entrance to the memorial park, facing the west side of the memorial, stand ornate wrought iron gates of remembrance. The central carriage gates are hung from wrought iron gate piers, surmounted by small urns surrounded by tracery, and divided from outer plain masonry piers by pedestrian gates. The main gates incorporate four central stylised wreaths, the upper two containing the dates '1914' and '1918' and the lower '1939' and '1945' picked out in gold. The Second World War dates were clearly added later as the gates are contemporary with the memorial, as they are shown in a photograph of the unveiling.

HISTORY: The Ashford war memorial was inaugurated on 1 June 1924 by General Sir Ian Hamilton, commander of the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) at Gallipoli, who was very active in the creation and unveiling of memorials to the dead of the First World War. Designed by the local architect Edwin A Jackson in 1922, the memorial was built in the centre of a memorial garden on land purchased from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1923. The land, memorial and wrought iron gates were funded by public subscription which by 1924 had raised over £10,000. The names of 250 of the fallen were inscribed on the memorial. Following the Second World War further names, including civilians, were added on plaques affixed to the low walls surrounding the memorial.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: This is an elegant memorial and its elaborate memorial gates stand testament to the sacrifice made by this community in the Great Wars. War memorials erected by communities to honour their war dead are of special interest because of their very strong historic and cultural significance, both on a local and national scale.

SOURCES:'The Kentish Express and Ashford News', May 10, 1919 and June 7, 1924.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 28 November 2016

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