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Streatham War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Streatham Wells, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4233 / 51°25'23"N

Longitude: -0.1294 / 0°7'45"W

OS Eastings: 530155

OS Northings: 171028

OS Grid: TQ301710

Mapcode National: GBR FZ.21K

Mapcode Global: VHGRC.PHY7

Entry Name: Streatham War Memorial

Listing Date: 6 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1440589

Location: Lambeth, London, SW16

County: London

District: Lambeth

London Borough Ward: Streatham Wells

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Lambeth

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Streatham Immanuel and Saint Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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Summary

First World War Memorial, later adapted to commemorate the fallen of the Second World War.

Description

Bronze figure of a hatless serviceman, head bowed and hands clasped on a reversed rifle propped on his boot. He appears to stand on a battlefield, replete with a discarded army jacket, steel helmet and gasmask. The statue stands upon a white tapering stone pedestal on a square base. Carved into the upper part of the pedestal are the words: TO / OUR GLORIOUS DEAD. Below are two identical bronze wreaths, the top inscribed ‘1914 – 1918’, the bottom ‘1939 – 1945’. On the pedestal’s bottom-most section is a bronze plaque installed in 2010 - it reads: IN HONOUR OF / THE MEN AND WOMEN OF STREATHAM / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE / OF THEIR COUNTRY IN TWO WORLD WARS / 1914 -1918 AND 1939-1945 / AND IN OTHER CONFLICTS / At the going down of the sun and in the morning / we will remember them / FROM THE PEOPLE OF STREATHAM 2010. The memorial stands on a small grass square bounded by very low iron railings with a short stone pillar at each corner.


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, 20 February 2017.

History

In 1919 the Streatham War Memorial General Council was set up by local residents with the aim of building a grand Hall of Remembrance, complete with a public hall and other buildings for the use of Streatham's residents and ex-servicemen. Land was purchased at the Chimes estate near Streatham Common, however the scheme proved controversial as it was deemed by some to be too costly and grandiose. A more modest plan was subsequently proposed of converting the main Chimes building into a servicemen's club, replete with a memorial garden and war memorial. This reduced scheme was, however, dogged by funding problems and a lack of public interest, and by 1922 there was still not enough money raised from the general public and others to pay for the memorial. A solution was eventually found by selling the Chimes estate building to the United Services Club and part of the now surplus-to-requirements land to London County Council, with the latter also gaining responsibility for maintaining the proposed garden of remembrance.

By July 1922 the current war memorial design had been finalised; the sculptor was Albert Toft and the memorial was unveiled on 14 October 1922 in a ceremony attended by General Sir Charles Carmichael Monro, 1st Baronet, GCB, GCSI, GCMG and the Bishop of Southwark, with an estimated crowd of 6,000 in attendance. The names of the fallen were originally recorded separately on a Roll of Honour held at Streatham Tate Library (since lost). On 5 July 1944 the United Services Club was severely damaged by a V1 flying bomb and was subsequently demolished; the grounds were subsequently used for a housing estate, with the war memorial remaining as the centre-piece of a small memorial garden. In 1959 the memorial was re-dedicated to commemorate those who died in the Second World War. In 1971 care of the war memorial garden was transferred to Lambeth Council; in 2006 a small pillar was unveiled in the gardens commemorating civilians killed in violent conflict throughout the world (not listed).

Albert Toft was a prolific designer of war memorials and has a large number of listed examples to his name, three of which are nearly identical to that at Streatham: Leamington Spa , Stone, Staffordshire and Ipswich Boer War – all Grade II – as well as Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire.

Reasons for Listing

Streatham 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 the local community, and the sacrifices it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: a well-executed and poignant statue of a soldier in a pose of contemplation, by the renowned war memorial sculptor Albert Toft.

Selected Sources

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