Historic war memorial remembering village war heroes recognised by Historic England

Historic England has raised awareness of a war memorial in Althorne among tens of thousands built across England in memory of those who lost their lives in the First World War.

The memorials were built after the war in place of graces for communities to mourn and honour their dead.

Many of the memorials also have plaques commemorating those lost during the Second World War.

The Grade II listed Althorne War Memorial in Althorne was built in 1926, designed by W Savage Cooper and constructed by volunteers which included fathers and brothers of those commemorated on the memorial.

The memorial was unveiled at a “well attended ceremony” by Sir Arnold Wilson and dedicated by the Bishop of Barking.

Historic England shared details of how it was built on land gifted to the parish by the London and North Eastern Railway Company and “is unusual in its design, being a public shelter in the form of a lychgate”.

In the description of the memorial, a spokesman for Historic England said: “Above the seat backs is a large bronze tablet, with wreath and laurel branches in relief, which was made by Messrs Crittall, the pioneering manufacturer of steel-framed windows, established in Essex.

“Below this is a carved banner with the following inscription in raised lettering: They were a wall unto us/ both by day and night.

“Around the four sides of the plaque is the following inscription, also in raised lettering: Althorne also sent fourth men to fight that ye might inherit freedom and peace with victory honour therefore those who died unto this end 1914-1919.

“The names of the 18 men who lost their lives in the First World War are listed on the memorial.

“Under the main plaque, a small separate bronze plaque bears the dates 1939 – 1945 and the names of the two men who fell in the Second World War.”

Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East of England said: “These war memorials are an important reminder of local people who gave their lives, in two world wars, to secure the freedom we enjoy today.

“Behind the names on these listed war memorials are people whose stories we should discover and remember, to ensure that they are not forgotten and that younger generations learn their story, too.

“We’d love to see your information or family story added to the record of your local listed war memorial.”