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St Thomas-on-the-Bourne War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Farnham, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.2026 / 51°12'9"N

Longitude: -0.7927 / 0°47'33"W

OS Eastings: 484441

OS Northings: 145518

OS Grid: SU844455

Mapcode National: GBR DB9.JDW

Mapcode Global: VHDY8.61SC

Plus Code: 9C3X6634+3W

Entry Name: St Thomas-on-the-Bourne War Memorial

Listing Date: 14 October 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1466297

Location: Farnham, Waverley, Surrey, GU9

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Farnham

Built-Up Area: Farnham

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey


War memorial designed by Harold Falkner and unveiled on 22 May 1921.


A war memorial unveiled in May 1921 designed by Harold Falkner.
MATERIALS & PLAN: the war memorial cross is located in the grounds of the Church of St Thomas-on-the-Bourne, to the west of the church. The memorial is carved of Penryn granite.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial is 23 feet tall, it consists of a square two-stepped base and plinth, from which rises a square shaft with a Celtic wheel cross. The cross and shaft is carved on the front (west) face. The carving consists of vine leaves and grapes, with four circular bosses in the centre, top and arms of the cross.
On the plinth’s western face is engraved ‘TO THE / GLORY OF GOD / AND IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF / THESE FROM THE BOURNE PARISH / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES / FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE / GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918’. Under this on the base is engraved ‘AND IN THE / WORLD WAR / 1939 – 1945’. The names of those who fell are inscribed in lead lettering on the other three faces.


The aftermath of the First World War (1914-1918) 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: therefore the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

One such memorial was raised at the Church of St Thomas-on-the-Bourne in Farnham as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 81 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars.

The memorial was designed by the architect Harold Falkner and carved by E Spargo from Penryn. Harold Falkner (1875-1963) was intimately associated with Farnham, having attended school there and later the Farnham School of Art. As an architect he worked extensively in and around Farnham where he built and remodelled private and public buildings such as Dippenhall Grange and the Bailiff's Hall.

The memorial was unveiled and dedicated on 22 May 1921 by Lieutenant-General Sir Edmond Roche Elles, GCIE, KCB, DL (1848-1934). The names of those who died during the Second World War were later added to the base of the memorial.

In 2014 a grant was used to improve the legibility of the inscriptions and names on the memorial. The memorial was cleaned with water and black enamel paint was used to repaint the raised lead lettering.

Reasons for Listing

St Thomas-on-the-Bourne War Memorial, which stands to the south-west of the Church of St Thomas-on-the-Bourne, 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 during the First World War.

Architectural interest:

* an elegantly carved Celtic wheel cross memorial, designed by Harold Falkner.

Group interest:

* with the Church of St Thomas-on-the-Bourne (Grade II).

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