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Camberwell Old Cemetery War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Southwark, London

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Latitude: 51.4511 / 51°27'4"N

Longitude: -0.0591 / 0°3'32"W

OS Eastings: 534958

OS Northings: 174247

OS Grid: TQ349742

Mapcode National: GBR JF.7RQ

Mapcode Global: VHGR6.XSLF

Entry Name: Camberwell Old Cemetery War Memorial

Listing Date: 7 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1449949

Location: Southwark, London, SE22

County: London

District: Southwark

Electoral Ward/Division: Peckham Rye

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Southwark

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London


First World War memorial, erected 1920.


Tall limestone pillar, topped by a flaming urn finial. The top of the front face of the pillar bears the words "OUR / GLORIOUS / DEAD" surrounded by a carved laurel wreath with hanging ribbons; to the bottom left of the ribbon is the coat of arms of the Navy, with that of the Army to the right. Below this is a raised rectangular section, with a small wheeled cross to each corner. At the middle top are the arms of the RAF; below this is the inscription: THIS CENOTAPH WAS / ERECTED BY SUBSCRIBERS / TO THE WAR MEMORIAL / OF THE BOROVGH OF/ CAMBERWELL AS A / TRIBVTE TO ITS SONS / WHOSE BODIES ARE REST- / ING IN THE CEMETERY AND / THROUGHOVT THE WORLD / AT THE CALL OF/ KING AND COVNTRY / THEY LEFT EVERYTHING / THAT WAS DEAR TO THEM / ENDVRED HARDNESS / FACED DANGER AND / FINALLY PASSED OUT OF / SIGHT OF MEN BY THE / PATH OF DVTY AND / SELF SACRIFICE / THEY DIED THAT / WE MIGHT LIVE IN FREEDOM / AND AT THE LAST MVSTER / THEY SHALL STAND BE- / FORE THE THRONE AN / EXCEEDINGLY GREAT ARMY / 1914 - 1918 / THEY PASSED BVT THEY / COULD NOT PASS AWAY. Below this are the arms of the Borough of Camberwell. The left face of the pillar bears a carving of a flaming torch, and the back a tall wheeled cross. The pillar rests on a plinth, bearing the inscription: EVAN COOK, JP MAYOR 1918-19 / C WILLIAM TAGG TOWN CLERK; this rests on a three-step platform.

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 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, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Camberwell Old Cemetery as a permanent testament to the sacrifices made by the members of the communities in the Borough of Camberwell. It was unveiled on 11 September 1920. Camberwell Borough was later subsumed into the new London Borough of Southwark in 1965.

Reasons for Listing

Camberwell Old Cemetery 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 the local community, and the sacrifices it made in the First World War;
* Architectural interest: as a dignified and imposing war memorial;
* Group value: with the directly adjacent Memorial to those killed by Zeppelin (Grade II).

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