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Wimbledon Common War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Roehampton, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4353 / 51°26'7"N

Longitude: -0.247 / 0°14'49"W

OS Eastings: 521951

OS Northings: 172161

OS Grid: TQ219721

Mapcode National: GBR 9R.8DR

Mapcode Global: VHGR9.N6T0

Entry Name: Wimbledon Common War Memorial

Listing Date: 12 September 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1458959

Location: Wandsworth, London, SW15

County: London

District: Wandsworth

Electoral Ward/Division: Roehampton

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Wandsworth

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Summary

A First World War memorial, designed by Madeline Agar and erected in 1921, refurbished in 2006.

Description

A First World War Memorial, designed by Madeline Agar and erected in 1921, refurbished in 2006.

MATERIALS: constructed of rock-faced stone with marble inscription panels.

PLAN: octagonal.

DETAILS: the memorial consists of a wide octagonal base divided into compartments, six to contain plants, the other two sides providing five steps up to a platform. This bears a narrower octagon of three steps bearing a moulded plinth with attached inscribed marble tablets, surmounted by a tall Latin cross with vertical carved strips.

One marble tablet is inscribed:

NATURE PROVIDES / THE BEST MONUMENT / THE PERFECTING OF / THE WORK MUST BE LEFT / TO THE GENTLE HAND / OF TIME, BUT EACH / RETURNING SPRING WILL / BRING A FRESH TRIBUTE / TO THOSE WHOM IT / IS DESIRED TO KEEP IN / EVERLASTING / REMEMBRANCE.

The opposite tablet is inscribed:

THE LAND AROUND / 42 ACRES / IS DEDICATED / TO PUBLIC USE / IN MEMORY OF ALL / THOSE WHO HAVING / BEEN RESIDENT OR / BELONGING TO FAMILIES / RESIDENT IN THE / ADJOINING DISTRICTS / GAVE THEIR LIVES / IN THE GREAT WAR /1914-1918.

The other six marble tablets bear the names of the 115 local men who gave their lives in the First World War.

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 Wimbledon Common, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. This memorial was unveiled in 1921.

It was funded by the Wandsworth and Wimbledon Memorial Garden Fund, whose chairman was Richardson Evans. It was designed by the landscape designer Madeline Agar, who was responsible for work on Wimbledon Common, and her site assistant was the landscape architect Brenda Colvin.

The memorial was refurbished by the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators in Spring 2006.

Reasons for Listing

Wimbledon Common War Memorial, of 1921, designed by Madeline Agar assisted by Brenda Colvin, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a well constructed and little altered memorial, unusual for its large planting compartments on the base and the rarity of having been designed and executed by a female landscape designer and architect, assisted by the nationally important landscape designer, Brenda Colvin.

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on this local community and the sacrifice it made in the First World War.

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