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Fordham war memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Fordham, Essex

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Latitude: 51.923 / 51°55'22"N

Longitude: 0.8034 / 0°48'12"E

OS Eastings: 592870

OS Northings: 228651

OS Grid: TL928286

Mapcode National: GBR RL9.KXL

Mapcode Global: VHKFQ.WX3R

Plus Code: 9F32WRF3+59

Entry Name: Fordham war memorial

Listing Date: 31 January 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1452952

Location: Fordham, Colchester, Essex, CO6

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Fordham

Built-Up Area: Fordham

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


A First World War memorial, built in 1919; with later additions for the Second World War.


MATERIALS: limestone, on a brick plinth.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is a classical composition. The painted brick plinth rises just above the height of the flanking wall of brick and flint, and tapers at the top to meet the middle section, which has corner pilasters with moulded feet and capitals, with a plain, inscribed panel between. This is topped by a cornice on which stands the uppermost element, a smaller version of the lower section with similar but shorter and narrower pilasters, and a triangular pediment topped with a carved dove finial. The front face houses a stone plaque with a relief carved, plain Latin cross, replacing the original clock.

INSCRIPTION: the middle section carries the inscription: IN GRATEFUL / AND HONOURED MEMORY OF / THE FORDHAM MEN, / WHO FELL IN THE WAR, 1914 – 1919. / (NAMES) / 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES).


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 750,000 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 Fordham, 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 memorial was set up at a prominent road junction at the heart of the village. It commemorates the 18 local servicemen who fell in the First World War, and was unveiled on 12 October 1919 by Brigadier General F W Towsey. It was sculpted by Messrs L J Watts Ltd, and constructed by local man F W Clampin on land donated by George Playle.

The names of four local servicemen who fell in the Second World War were added following this conflict.

The memorial was originally in the form of a clock tower. However, the clock was subsequently replaced with a stone panel with a carved cross at its centre. In 2017, a plaque was added to the plinth with the names of the lost servicemen who had not previously been recognised on the memorial.

Reasons for Listing

Fordham 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 made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:
* For its design, a well-executed stone memorial.

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