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Earsham War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Earsham, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.4504 / 52°27'1"N

Longitude: 1.4166 / 1°24'59"E

OS Eastings: 632259

OS Northings: 289091

OS Grid: TM322890

Mapcode National: GBR WL1.BZJ

Mapcode Global: VHM6G.HNRX

Plus Code: 9F43FC28+4J

Entry Name: Earsham War Memorial

Listing Date: 11 July 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1447706

Location: Earsham, South Norfolk, Norfolk, NR35

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Earsham

Built-Up Area: Earsham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

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First World War memorial, unveiled on 8 August 1920, with Second World War additions.


First World War memorial, 1920, with Second World War additions.

DESCRIPTION: Earsham war memorial is situated in front of the village hall, at the junction of The Street and Station Road.

The memorial takes the form of a polished granite wheel-head cross with a thin, tapering shaft and stepped foot. The shaft rises from a rectangular, tapering plinth with three-stepped base on a square platform. Circles are carved in relief to the arms and centre of the front (north) face of the cross-head.

The principal inscription is incised into the lower section of the shaft face and reads FOR GOD/ FOR KING/ FOR COUNTRY/ IN/ GRATEFUL/ MEMORY/ OF THE MEN/ FROM EARSHAM/ WHO GAVE/ THEIR LIVES/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914-1919. The 25 names are listed underneath on the front face of the plinth; three under NAVY and 22 under ARMY. On the uppermost step is the inscription 'THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE'. The east face of the plinth carries the inscription 1939 – 1945/ (7 NAMES).

All lettering is incised and painted black.

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 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 which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Earsham as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

The Earsham village proposals to commemorate those from the community who died in service during the First World War had three elements: an oak tablet inscribed with the names of the fallen, which was placed inside the parish church of All Saints, the construction of a YMCA red triangle hut and a freestanding memorial cross. Land was purchased from the Town Estate in 1920 for the purpose of erecting the memorial and hut. The memorial cross was situated in front of the hut and was unveiled on 8 August 1920 by Mrs Mead of Earsham Hall. It commemorates the 25 local servicemen who fell in the First World War and seven men who fell in the Second World War.

The memorial is described in a contemporary newspaper report as being enclosed within a garden, bounded by a chestnut fence and oak gate. These structures have since been removed.

The associated YMCA hut was primarily for the use of ex-servicemen but evolved over time into a village hall. The building was demolished in the 1970s and replaced.

Reasons for Listing

Earsham war memorial, which is situated at the junction of The Street and Station Road, 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 sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;

Architectural interest:
* As a simple but well-executed granite wheel-head cross;

Group value:
* For its relationship with the Grade II-listed Queen’s Head public house.

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