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East Cowes War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in East Cowes, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.758 / 50°45'28"N

Longitude: -1.2863 / 1°17'10"W

OS Eastings: 450440

OS Northings: 95620

OS Grid: SZ504956

Mapcode National: GBR 89R.KLP

Mapcode Global: FRA 8762.LQK

Plus Code: 9C2WQP57+5F

Entry Name: East Cowes War Memorial

Listing Date: 13 September 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1464880

Location: East Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO32

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: East Cowes

Built-Up Area: East Cowes

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight


A First World War memorial of 1920, with later inscriptions from the Second World War.


A First World War memorial of 1920, with later inscriptions from the Second World War.
MATERIALS: granite.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial faces south-east and is located within the churchyard of the Church of St James, East Cowes. It takes the form of a granite wheel-head cross with a tapered shaft on a rough-hewn, granite base with sloping sides. A recessed panel on the front face of the plinth reads: ‘ TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ AND IN MEMORY OF THE MEN/ FROM THIS PARISH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING AND COUNTRY/ IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1919/ AND THE WORLD WAR 1939 – 1945/ GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THIS/ THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS’. The names of those who fell in the First World War are inscribed on recessed panels on the sides of the plinth while the names of those from the Second World War are inscribed on a recessed panel within a wedge-shaped stone, which is attached to the front face of the plinth.


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. One such memorial was raised in East Cowes in 1920, as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 58 servicemen from the local community, who lost their lives in the First World War. It was unveiled by Field Marshal Lord Gort (1886-1946), who was awarded the Victoria Cross during this conflict, and later commanded the British Expeditionary Force during the Second World War, including the Dunkirk evacuation.

The memorial was re-dedicated on 17 September 1950, after a further inscription was added commemorating the sacrifice made by 29 servicemen from the local community, who lost their lives in the Second World War. The ceremony was attended by Brigadier S J L Hill (1911-2006), who commanded the 3rd Parachute Brigade, during the Second World War.

Reasons for Listing

East Cowes War Memorial, which stands in the churchyard of the Church of St James, 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:
* a well-crafted, wheel-headed, First World War memorial with later Second World War inscriptions.
Group value:
* with the adjacent Church of St James, and its wall and gate piers, both listed at Grade II.

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