History in Structure

First World War Memorial at St John the Baptist Church, Erith

A Grade II Listed Building in Erith, London

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Latitude: 51.4872 / 51°29'13"N

Longitude: 0.1703 / 0°10'12"E

OS Eastings: 550779

OS Northings: 178700

OS Grid: TQ507787

Mapcode National: GBR RX.5KP

Mapcode Global: VHHNL.WWWB

Plus Code: 9F32F5PC+V4

Entry Name: First World War Memorial at St John the Baptist Church, Erith

Listing Date: 19 October 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1445491

ID on this website: 101445491

Location: Erith, Bexley, London, DA8

County: London

District: Bexley

Electoral Ward/Division: Erith

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bexley

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Tagged with: War memorial


First World War memorial. Erected 1921.


First World War memorial. Erected 1921.

MATERIALS: Carved from granite.

DESCRIPTION: the war memorial stands in the churchyard of St John the Baptist Church. It comprises a Celtic cross of hammer-dressed grey granite, placed on a tapering shaft, plinth, and square base, set within a square kerb of the same material. Designer unknown. The shaft of the memorial is inscribed in lead lettering: IN/ GRATEFUL AND/ SACRED MEMORY/ OF THE FOLLOWING/ FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO FELL/ IN THE GREAT WAR/, and on the front of the base: “THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE”. The names of 101 dead are listed in twin columns on each side of the plinth.

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, 30 January 2018.


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. One such memorial was raised on Erith as a permanent testament to the sacrifices made by the members of the local community, erected on 1st November 1921. It lists the names of 101 fatalities from the parish. The names include that of a woman: KA Elliston (Kate Evelyn Elliston) who died of influenza on March 5th 1919 while serving as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse at Royal Naval Hospital at Haslar, Gosport, Hampshire. Hers is the only name to have any supplementary information, which reflects the unusualness of the fatality. She was the daughter of Edward Henry and Kate Martha Elliston, who lived on Friday Road in Erith, and was baptised at St John the Baptist Church. She is buried in the Brook Street Cemetery.

Bexley's Local Studies and Archive Centre has conducted research into 94 of the 101 names listed on the memorial. Most were men and boys with addresses in the terraced houses that dominated Erith at the time, or who worked in industries associated with the town. While many were born locally, others hailed from further afield in London or from other parts of the country such as Yorkshire or Scotland. The list of names and details associated with the fallen are held by the studies centre.

Reasons for Listing

The First World War Memorial at St John the Baptist Church, Erith, erected in 1921, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* As an eloquent reminder of the tragic impact of world events on the parish, and the sacrifice it made during the First World War;

Group value:

* The memorial has a strong visual relationship with the Grade II*-listed church of St John the Baptist.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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