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Coulsdon War Memorial, Memorial Recreation Ground

A Grade II Listed Building in Coulsdon East, London

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Latitude: 51.3155 / 51°18'55"N

Longitude: -0.1337 / 0°8'1"W

OS Eastings: 530163

OS Northings: 159032

OS Grid: TQ301590

Mapcode National: GBR G5.T4R

Mapcode Global: VHGRY.M6PC

Entry Name: Coulsdon War Memorial, Memorial Recreation Ground

Listing Date: 6 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1440878

Location: Croydon, London, CR5

County: London

District: Croydon

Local Authority Ward: Coulsdon East

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Croydon

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Coulsdon St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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First World War memorial unveiled on 16 April 1921.


MATERIALS: Portland stone.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is sited at the top of the slope within the Coulsdon Memorial Recreation Ground. It is an open portico or shelter with four columns at each corner supporting a curved roof. The tops of the columns are embellished with carved fluting. The solid rear wall has inset into it a stone plaque inscribed in black painted letters: TO THE MEMORY/ OF/ THE MEN OF COULSDON WHO FELL / IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918 / (NAMES). Underneath is a small ledge to hold wreaths.

The front and sides are open and the memorial stands upon a raised paved two-stepped base.

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.


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

One such memorial was raised at Coulsdon as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

In October 1920 J M Powell of Coulsdon and Purley Urban District Council reported that he had secured the money for the purchase of the Coulsdon War Memorial Recreation Ground and that the council would proceed to engage a gang of men to prepare the ground for the erection of a war memorial. The cost of the ground was £1,500 and the memorial £300.

Prominently sited at the top of the slope within the recreation ground the memorial takes the form of an open portico or shelter ideal for its use within a park. It was unveiled on 16 April 1921 by Col G C Hamilton CMG of the Grenadier Guards and dedicated by the Rector Canon H Granville Dickson.

The 1935 map shows the Coulsdon Memorial Recreation Ground and it consists of open space with toilets, a pavilion, a playground, tennis courts, putting and bowling greens around the sides. A serpentine path leads up to the memorial shelter located in the centre of the ground against a semi-circular backdrop of trees.

Reasons for Listing

Coulsdon 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: an elegant and striking Classical portico displaying a high level of craftsmanship and good quality materials.

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