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King's College School War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Merton, Merton

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Latitude: 51.4212 / 51°25'16"N

Longitude: -0.2257 / 0°13'32"W

OS Eastings: 523465

OS Northings: 170628

OS Grid: TQ234706

Mapcode National: GBR BM.7R4

Mapcode Global: VHGRB.1JJV

Plus Code: 9C3XCQCF+FP

Entry Name: King's College School War Memorial

Listing Date: 3 July 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1445698

Location: Village, Merton, London, SW19

County: Merton

Electoral Ward/Division: Village

Built-Up Area: Merton

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

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War memorial, unveiled 1921, in the form of a bronze sculpture of a youth holding aloft a laurel wreath, standing atop a Grecian pedestal.


Bronze sculpture of nude male youth, hands held aloft and looking upwards; in his left hand he holds a laurel wreath of Victory. This stands atop a cylindrical Grecian pedestal, the uppermost section forming an urn-like element decorated with dentils and acanthus leave carvings. Five panels on the pedestal bears the names of the Fallen in alphabetical order. At its base is a tablet with a laurel wreath in relief, above which is an inscription in Greek, which translates as: "Theirs is the prize of fair-garlanded death."

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 July 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. 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 at King's College School in Wimbledon in honour of the school's Fallen. It was unveiled on 14 October 1921 in a ceremony attended by Sir Cecil Hertslet, KBE, school governors, and the peers and families of the Fallen.

The bronze sculpture was designed by Charles L Hartwell, ARA and intends to express 'spring and the aspiration of youth toward immortality'. It was stolen twice in the 1960s; on the first occasion it was abandoned in a corner of the school grounds. It was then replaced and secured to the pedestal with a steel tube, but stolen again a few weeks later and never recovered. It was replaced in 2003 with a bronze-resin replica made by Ian Bishop Designs of Farnham, Surrey, paid for by the School and the Old King's Club; this was unveiled in re-dedication ceremony held on 7 November 2003 by Sarah Robbins-Cole, the school chaplain. The pedestal section was designed by Arthur Stratton, FRIBA, architect and former KCS pupil. The memorial was re-positioned at some point in the mid-2010s.

Reasons for Listing

King's College School 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 King's College School, and the sacrifices it made in the First World War;
* Design: as a well executed and expressive sculptured war memorial by Charles L Hartwell, standing atop an attractive Grecian pedestal;
* Group value: with the adjacent Grade II-listed Great Hall range to King's College School.

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