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Downham War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in South Hanningfield, Essex

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Latitude: 51.6298 / 51°37'47"N

Longitude: 0.4978 / 0°29'52"E

OS Eastings: 572976

OS Northings: 195284

OS Grid: TQ729952

Mapcode National: GBR PLR.LPX

Mapcode Global: VHJKN.L91G

Entry Name: Downham War Memorial

Listing Date: 6 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1450615

Location: South Hanningfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM11

County: Essex

District: Chelmsford

Civil Parish: South Hanningfield

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


First World War memorial with later additions for the Second World War.


Granite wheel-head cross, with a sculpted sword on the front face. This stands on a granite plinth; the front face of the plinth bears the inscription TO THE GLORY OF GOD / AND IN HONOURED MEMORY OF / THE MEN OF THIS PARISH WHO FELL / IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1918 / (NAMES) / "THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE." the rear face of the plinth reads 1939 - 1945 / (NAMES). The whole rests on a square base.


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 in Downham 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 cost approximately £150, and was unveiled on 1 May 1921 by Colonel HBH Hamilton in a ceremony attended by various local clergy and dignitaries. Further inscriptions were added at some point after the Second World War to honour the Fallen of that conflict.

Reasons for Listing

Downham 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 sacrifice it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: as a dignified granite wheel cross war memorial;
* Group value: with the adjacent Grade II-listed Church of St Margaret.

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