Stoke Newington Civilian War Dead Memorial

The Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington Civilian War Dead Memorial may be found in Abney Park Cemetery in London (Google Earth co-ordinates: 51.564451°, -0.077899°).
The legibility of the memorial is poor though, with letters missing from the main inscription.

The inscription reads:





Source: (https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1419855)

There are 113 names inscribed on the memorial, of whom 88 were as a result of a German bomb that made a direct hit on a crowded shelter at Coronation Avenue, just off the High Street on 13th October 1940,  Most people in the Shelter were killed and are listed on the memorial, the list shows that many of the people were Jewish Refugees, There were also 2 persons Unidentified. The memorial also includes the names of 7 of the locations in the borough at which civilians lost their lives during the Second World War. The memorial is listed as Grade II. 

The complete list of names is available on The Roll of Honour Website

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 6/01/2016

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 13:23

Hollybrook Memorial: Southampton

The Hollybrook Memorial in Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton, commemorates by name almost 1,900 servicemen and women of the Commonwealth land and air forces* whose graves are not known, many of whom were lost in transports or other vessels torpedoed or mined in home waters (*Officers and men of the Commonwealth’s navies who have no grave but the sea are commemorated on memorials elsewhere). The memorial also bears the names of those who were lost or buried at sea, or who died at home but whose bodies could not be recovered for burial. Almost one third of the names on the memorial are those of officers and men of the South African Native Labour Corps, who died when the troop transport Mendi sank in the Channel following a collision on 21 February 1917. (Text from Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Memorial at Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton

Memorial at Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton

The memorial makes for very sombre reading, especially when you consider that this is probably one of the only places where so many of these people are remembered. It covers both World Wars (there is also a dedicated WW2 plot in the Cemetery), and the highest ranking person on the memorial is Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, who died when the battle cruiser HMS Hampshire was mined and sunk off Scapa Flow on 5 June 1916, he is mentioned on plaque 01.

Mendi Corner

Mendi Corner (1497×752)

The Men of the Mendi are listed on plaques 3-19. Other ships of interest are the Union Castle ships Glenart and Galway Castle.

There are over 100 plaques on the memorial, testifying once again to the magnitude of the loss of life during the Two World Wars. It is a very thought provoking memorial, and a very special one to me as this is where the Mendi Men are remembered.

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 14/05/2016

Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:21

The Gloucesters Memorial in Cheltenham

One of the more poignant memorials to the casualties of the First World War may be found within Prestbury Cemetery in Cheltenham.  Passing through the gates of the cemetery, on the right hand side is the Gloucesters Memorial and Crosses.

Prestbury Cemetery. Glosters Memorial highlighted in red

Prestbury Cemetery. Gloucesters Memorial highlighted in red

At first glance the memorial really looks like a rack for storing garden tools, but as you get closer only then do you realise what it is you are seeing.

Beneath the four simple wooden shelters are the original grave markers that stood on the graves of fallen soldiers. Unfortunately, over the years they have lost their legibility and today some of which I cannot identify. There are 21 markers in total and they represent the graves of 21 men. I have since added in a link to the relevant CWGC page for each identified cross. 

Extreme left hand shelter

Extreme left hand shelter

From left to right: L/cpl Leslie James Silvester (1st 5th Gloucesters, 20/05/1915), Pte HR. Arundell (1st 4th Gloucesters 15/04/1917), Pte Ernest G. Smith (2nd 5th Gloucesters, 17/04/1917), Pte William. Regan (1st 3rd Monmouthshire Regt. 22/05/1915), No visible identification.

Left inward shelter

Left inward shelter

From left to right: Lt Francis Charles Erlin Clarke (Worcs Regt and RFC. 11/10/1917), No visible identification, Pte Charles William Harwood (1st Bn Devonshire Regt. 04/10/1917), Not Legible, Maj Lionel Goodeve (1st Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers. 26/08/1916), Damaged, crosspiece has legible identification.



In the centre is another cross which is marked with more names of soldiers that fell in August 1916.

Inner right hand shelter

Inner right hand shelter

From left to right: 2Lt. Kenneth Gerard Gurney (spelt Gournly on the marker) 5th Bn Gloucester Regt, 17/10/1917), Pte Sidney Leonad Dean (1st Bn Dorsetshire Regt 27/08/1918), No visible identification, No visible identification, Pte Harold Edgar. Ralph (171st Labour Coy, 15/04/1918).

Right hand side outside

Right hand side outside

From left to right: Capt. John Harold Elleston. Rickerby MC. (2/5 Gloucester Regt, 22/03/1918), Maj. John Gwynne Griffith (32nd Lancers, 24/05/1915), Lt. Reginald Anthony. Lyon (Army Cyclist Corps, 13/08/1917), Pte. Arthur Thomas Hiron (Nth Staffs Regt. 15/10/1918), Not Legible.

This is a unique memorial, although the brown paintwork does make it look impersonal, and of course over the years the identification of some of the markers has been lost. It is a pity that the markers were not given a coat of a clear varnish so that the original colouring of the them could be seen. Not too many of these early wooden markers have survived, and this is the biggest collection that I have ever seen. It is a very humbling experience.

(11/2017 image)

(11/2017 image)

(11/2017 image)

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 09/08/2015. Changed spelling throughout page to Gloucesters 03/11/2017, corrected link that points to blogger, added CWGC links and added new images.

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 20:25

Streatham War Memorial

I spotted this memorial on my way to Streatham Park Cemetery one find day in 2013. Unfortunately, it was being refurbished at the time and was surrounded by a fence.

Streatham War Memorial

Streatham War Memorial

It was not an unattractive memorial, and was designed Albert Toft in 1921 and unveiled the following year by General Sir Charles Monro, Bart., and the Rt. Revd C.F. Garbett, Lord Bishop of Southwark.

Bronze soldier on the memorial

Bronze soldier on the memorial

I was not sure whether I would come past here again, so photographed as best as I could around the fence.

Information signage

Information signage

A recent addition to the memorial was a plaque which read:
“In honour of
the men and women of Streatham
who gave their lives in the service
of their country in two world wars
1914-1918 and 1939-45
and in other conflicts.
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning
we will remember them.
From the people of Streatham 2010.”

Commemorative plaques

Commemorative plaques

The memorial is situated in Streatham Memorial Gardens. Google Earth co-ordinates: 51.423339°, -0.129240°.

Streatham Park Cemetery has a Cross of Sacrifice and a screen wall, as well as numerous CWGC graves in the cemetery. There are 404 identified casualties associated with the cemetery.

Streatham Park Cemetery Cross of Sacrifice

Streatham Park Cemetery Cross of Sacrifice

The cemetery is located at Google Earth Co-ordinates:  51.408312°,  -0.143051°

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 07/03/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 07:35

Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

While on a quick trip to Portsmouth I found the Naval Memorial at Southsea quite by accident but did not have a lot of time to really photograph it better than I could in the short time I had. It is a daunting memorial, the plaques on it seem to be endless, and there are 24599 names on it.The loss of a single ship could involve the loss of hundreds of men at a time, and there are no physical graves for most on this memorial.

The Memorial is on the Southsea Common overlooking the promenade, and can be seen from a long distance. Ships pass it on their way to the naval dockyard and it is an imposing site. There are similar memorials at Chatham (18627 names) and Plymouth (23210 names).

All These were Honoured in Their Generations

and were the Glory of Their times

Google Earth co-ordinates are:  50.782507°,  -1.095661°

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 25/03/2013. Moved to blog 05/03/2014

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 15:00

Mendi Memorial at Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton, UK

Technically this memorial is not a specific Mendi Memorial, it really  commemorates by name almost 1,900 servicemen and women of the Commonwealth land and air forces whose graves are not known, many of whom were lost in transports or other vessels torpedoed or mined in home waters. More information about the memorial may be found at the relevant CWGC information page.

Memorial at Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton

Memorial at Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton

My own interest in the Mendi started many years ago when I read “Black Valour” by Norman Clothier. At the time it was the definitive book about the Africans and Coloureds that served with the South Africans during the wars. Coupled with my interest in ships, it became a natural extension of my webpage and my graveyard photography.  It took many years to finally be able to visit the Mendi Memorial at Avalon Cemetery and from then on things just happened. That Mendi webpage is still a work in progress even after so many years, and deep in my heart I always wanted to visit some tangible relic to the Mendi in the United Kingdom.

I got that opportunity on 10 April 2013 while I was in Southampton.

The "Mendi Corner"

The “Mendi Corner”

It was a very emotional moment to stand at that spot and see those plaques for the first time. Strangely enough it had been a grey overcast day so far, but just for that short period the sun came out and shone on the memorial for me.

There are two CWGC memorials in Hollybrook Cemetery, as well as numerous CWGC graves scattered around inside of it. Yet, this is a very special piece of England. A number of Mendi casualties are buried at Portsmouth Milton cemetery, and I would eventually get to visit them too.

Google Earth co-ordinates for the memorial are: 50.933687°, -1.430978°

I returned later in the year and left a small poppy cross for my countrymen who died so far from home, and on 23 February 2014, I participated in a wreath laying at this memorial. For me it was a very special moment,  In some small corner of Southampton there is a place that will always be South African.

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 11 April 2013. Added to Blog 26/01/2014

Updated: 22/06/2018 — 18:59

Bezuidenhout Valley War Memorial

 Memorial as at 24/10/2019

The memorial as at 23/02/2019

**Update 11/02/2019**

An article on IOL dated 29 January 2019 shows the derelict memorial had been further desecrated with red paint 2 weeks before Remembrance Day. It was still paint damaged on 14/01/2019

**Update 17/06/2018**

In June 2018 I was shown an article that showed the state of the memorial after it had been extensively vandalised beyond repair. There is an article on the Heritage Portal  about it and frankly it is disgraceful. Unfortunately it seems as if the odds of it being repaired are small. Realistically it should have been moved years ago, but its now too late. Consequently this memorial is now extinct.

**Update 27/07/2018**

Stakeholders met to decided the future of what was left of the memorial and it has been proposed to move it to nearby Bezuidenhout Park, within the palisade fenced garden close to the principal farmhouse. But, the usual heritage impact studies have to be done although there is nothing left to study and budgets allocated and rubber stamps will need to be wielded.  The needs of red tape must be satisfied. Personally I am a bit sceptical about the park considering that it too has had its share of vandalism. I will however only believe it when I see it. Article on Heritage Portal of 26 July 2018

Original post.

I originally visited the Bezuidenhout Valley World War One Memorial which is situated on the corner of Kitchener Road and 9th Ave in Bez Valley/Kensington during August 2007. At the time the memorial was in a very poor condition and the fountain was not working.

Memorial in 2009

I subsequently revisited the memorial in April 2009 and the fountain was actually in operation. although the area around it was still dirty and run down. Fortunately the name plaques were still intact and legible.

In 2012 things were not looking too great once again as this image taken from Darragh Centre testifies.

The destroyed memorial used to be found at Google Earth co-ordinates  -26.191156°  28.087656° .

DRW © 2007-2019. Image replaced 07 September 2011. Moved to blog 06/01/2014, updated 17/06/2018 and 27/08/2018, new image added 27/02/2019

Updated: 25/10/2019 — 15:38
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