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Hadleigh War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in St James, Essex

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Latitude: 51.5552 / 51°33'18"N

Longitude: 0.6033 / 0°36'11"E

OS Eastings: 580568

OS Northings: 187241

OS Grid: TQ805872

Mapcode National: GBR QP5.HB6

Mapcode Global: VHJL3.D5SN

Plus Code: 9F32HJ43+38

Entry Name: Hadleigh War Memorial

Listing Date: 19 June 2020

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1470092

Location: St. James, Castle Point, Essex, SS7

County: Essex

District: Castle Point

Electoral Ward/Division: St James

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Rayleigh

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Tagged with: War memorial


First World War memorial, unveiled 1922, with later additions for the Second World War.


A First World War memorial, dedicated in 1922, with a later inscription added after the Second World War.


PLAN: the memorial stands within its own fenced garden at the south-east corner of the recreation ground. The entrance to this area is at the junction of London Road and Chapel Lane and there is no direct access from the recreation ground to the war memorial garden.

EXTERIOR: it takes the form of an orb adorned with a festoon atop a fluted Ionic column. The column rises from a pedestal with a splayed foot and recessed panels on each face. This is set on a three-stepped base.

The west face of the pedestal bears the inscription THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED/ TO THE HONOURED AND UNDYING/ MEMORY OF THE MEN OF THIS/ PARISH WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES/ FOR THEIR KING AND COUNTRY IN THE/ GREAT WAR A.D. 1914 – 1919/ THE MEN WERE VERY GOOD UNTO/ US AND WE WERE NOT HURT/ THEY WERE A WALL UNTO US/ BOTH BY NIGHT AND DAY/ 1 SAM 25 15-16. The names of the First World War fallen are recorded on the remaining faces of the pedestal.

On the west face of the top step of the base, carved in relief, is the dedication 1939 AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN 1945/ AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.


The concept of commemorating war dead did not develop to any great extent until towards the end of the C19. Previously, memorials were rare and were mainly dedicated to individual officers, or sometimes regiments. The first large-scale erection of war memorials dedicated to the ordinary soldier followed the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, the first major war following reforms to the British Army which led to regiments being recruited from local communities and with volunteer soldiers. However, it was the aftermath of the First World War that was the great age of memorial building, both as a result of the huge impact the loss of three quarters of a million British lives had on communities and 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 Hadleigh as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by 48 members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War.

A public meeting was held in January 1919 at which it was decided that the recreation ground would be a suitable site for Hadleigh’s war memorial. The memorial was unveiled on 15 October 1922 by Alderman J H Burrows and dedicated by the Reverend E H Gowring. It cost £280 to build, £240 of which had been raised by the time the memorial was unveiled. The remaining costs were paid off by January 1925.

Some time after the Second World War, an inscription was added to the west face of the upper step of the memorial’s base to commemorate that conflict.

Reasons for Listing

Hadleigh 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:

* as a distinctive memorial in the form of an orb adorned with a festoon atop a fluted Ionic column.

External Links

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