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Cotton War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Cotton, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.2613 / 52°15'40"N

Longitude: 1.0324 / 1°1'56"E

OS Eastings: 607039

OS Northings: 266902

OS Grid: TM070669

Mapcode National: GBR TK6.9T8

Mapcode Global: VHKD9.VF4B

Plus Code: 9F43726J+GX

Entry Name: Cotton War Memorial

Listing Date: 5 February 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1452798

Location: Cotton, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk, IP14

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Cotton

Built-Up Area: Bacton

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk


First World War memorial, unveiled 1919, with later additions for the Second World War.


The Portland stone memorial stands in the churchyard to the south-east of the Church of St Andrew (Grade I-listed). It comprises a small ornately carved wheel-head cross rising from the moulded top of a tapering pyramidal shaft, that stands on an elaborately carved plinth. The plinth stands on a simple base. The sides of the shaft are ornamented by carved panels on each face. The plinth is also elaborately decorated with blind arches forming recessed panels for the inscriptions, and crocketted corners.

The main inscription in incised and black-painted lettering on the east face of the plinth reads: IN/ HONOURED AND GRATEFUL/ MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF COTTON/ WHO DIED FOR THEIR COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT WAR,/ 1914–1919,/ AND AS A THANK-OFFERING TO/ GOD FOR VICTORY AND PEACE/ (on base) THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVER MORE. The names of the fallen are recorded on the other faces of the plinth.

The memorial is enclosed by a low ornamental iron rail carried around all four sides.


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 Cotton as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 13 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. It was provided by Hanchets of Bury St Edmunds, renowned Suffolk monumental masons (established 1776), who built and carved at least 20 other First World War memorials in the Suffolk area, some of which are listed. The memorial was unveiled on 7 December 1919 by Lt-Col FW Turner.

The name of one local serviceman who died during the Second World War was subsequently added to the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Cotton War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard, 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:

* an elaborate Portland stone war memorial in the Gothic style.

Group value:

* with the Church of St Andrew (Grade I-listed).

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