A war memorial, designed by A. Cox and unveiled on March 6th 1921.
Reason for Listing
The war memorial at Grays, commemorating the fallen of both World Wars and the Korean conflict, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons.
* Architecture: The architectural detailing to the column, urn and metal fittings are unusual and well-executed.
* Historic: The memorial has considerable historic interest both to the local community and from a national perspective, commemorating the community’s link with international events and the poignant cost of such involvement.
The great age of memorial building was in the aftermath of the First World War. The war memorial at Grays was designed by A. Cox, built by Marshall and Wilson, a local Grays firm, and unveiled on 6th March 1921. Located in a prominent townscape position, at the north end of the High Street opposite the Magistrates Court, the memorial was constructed to commemorate those residents of the town who were killed in the First World War, but the names of those who perished in the Second World War and Korean conflict have been added to the memorial also.
Portland stone memorial on a concrete base surrounded by a low metal railing.
The memorial comprises a tapering stone column of approximately 10m on a double stone plinth, resting on a concrete base. At the top of the column is a stone urn, decorated with swags, on a pedestal with a plain die and a moulded torus and plinth. At the base of the column are copper plaques on each elevation. Those to the east and west are inscribed with the names of the dead. That to the south bears the inscription:
‘THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED IN THE / YEAR 1920 BY THE GRATEFUL INHABITANTS / OF GRAYS TO THE IMMORTAL MEMORY / OF THEIR BRAVE FELLOW-TOWNSMEN WHO / ANSWERING THE CALL OF DUTY LEFT HOME / AND KINDRED IN ORDER TO DEFEND THE / EMPIRE AND THE CAUSE OF JUSTICE AND / ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHOSE NAMES ARE / INSCRIBED ON THESE TABLETS, WHO LOST / THEIR LIVES WHILST SERVING IN THE / ARMED FORCES OF THE CROWN OR IN / THE MERCANTILE MARINE DURING THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1918.
Inscribed in italics beneath are the words: "ON FAME'S ETERNAL CAMPING GROUND/ THEIR SILENT TENTS ARE SPREAD/ AND GLORY GUARDS WITH SOLEMN ROUND/ THIS BIVOUAC OF THE DEAD"
Above the plaque on the south side is the date 1939-45 carved on the column with a copper wreath in relief above. Beneath the main plaque on the west side, additional plaques to commemorate those who died in the Second World War and Korean War have been added.
Carved on the west side of the column are the following battle names: MONS/ YPRES/ SOMME/ AISNE/ ITALY/ GALLIPOLI/ MESOPOTAMIA/, and on the east: KUT/ GAZA/ SALONIKA/ JERUSALEM/ JUTLAND/ ZEEBRUGGE/ FALKLAND ISLANDS/.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.