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Rainham war memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Gillingham, Medway

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3632 / 51°21'47"N

Longitude: 0.6084 / 0°36'30"E

OS Eastings: 581686

OS Northings: 165909

OS Grid: TQ816659

Mapcode National: GBR QRH.JM4

Mapcode Global: VHJLW.HZHW

Plus Code: 9F329J75+79

Entry Name: Rainham war memorial

Listing Date: 20 September 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1448409

Location: Medway, ME8

County: Medway

Electoral Ward/Division: Rainham Central

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Gillingham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Summary


War memorial, erected 1920.

Description

War memorial, erected 1920.

A Cornish granite memorial in the form of a Celtic cross mounted on a tall tapering plinth on a shallow base, set on stepped paving.

The face of the shaft, and of the cross, is enriched with intertwined foliate designs and circular motifs above an inscription:
THIS CROSS WAS ERECTED BY THE/ INHABITANTS OF RAINHAM IN GRATEFUL/ MEMORY OF THE GALLANT MEN FROM/ THIS PARISH WHO IN THE GREAT WAR/ OF 1914-1919 GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR THEIR COUNTRY/ SONS OF THIS PLACE LET THIS OF YOU BE SAID/ THAT YOU WHO LIVE ARE WORTHY OF YOUR DEAD/ THESE GAVE THEIR LIVES THAT YOU WHO LIVE MAY REAP/ A RICHER HARVEST ERE YOU FALL ASLEEP/ "HE WILL SWALLOW UP DEATH IN VICTORY"/ ISAIAH XXV.8/ (Names).

The sides and rear are of tooled granite. The plinth is inscribed with the names of the 99 fallen.

History

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 Rainham, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. It was erected at a cost of £520, and was unveiled on 12 December 1920, attended by Major General HF Thuiller, CB CMG.

Reasons for Listing

Rainham War Memorial, erected in 1920, 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:

* A dignified and well-crafted granite cross, embellished with carved ornament.

Group value:

* With the Grade I-listed church of St Margaret, its churchyard walls and group of four tombs (listed at Grade II).

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