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Deptford War Memorial, Lewisham

Description: Deptford War Memorial

Grade: II
Date Listed: 17 February 2012
English Heritage Building ID: 1406592

OS Grid Reference: TQ3693376505
OS Grid Coordinates: 536933, 176505
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4709, -0.0299

Locality: Lewisham
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: SE4 1UY

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Listing Text


First World War memorial erected in commemoration of the men of Deptford who lost their lives during the Great War. Those who fell during the Second World War are also commemorated.

Reason for Listing

Deptford War Memorial is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historical interest: as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by this community in both World Wars, and subsequent conflicts, it is of strong historic and cultural significance both at a local and a national level.
* Artistic interest: the monument has a handsome composition, and is enhanced by the strong artistic quality of the figurative carving.


Deptford war memorial was commissioned by the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford in 1919 to commemorate The Fallen of Deptford. It was designed by William Richards of Brockley, and the sculpted figures are by WW Wagstaff of Kingston-upon-Thames; the memorial was unveiled in July 1921 by Major General Sir Charles Townshend. It was erected as part of the memorial gardens, which were laid out by the Borough Council in the years following the end of the war.

The dates of the Second World War were subsequently added to the memorial.


The memorial stands at the north end of the memorial gardens, which run alongside Lewisham Way. The memorial is of Portland stone, and takes the form of a tapering octagonal column surmounted by a carved flame, standing on a square pedestal and base. The cornice of the pedestal forms a segmental arch over each face. Against the east and west faces of the pedestal, standing on raised tablets, lean the carved figure of a soldier (to the east) and a sailor (to the west). The hands of the figures rest on the stocks of their up-turned guns; their heads are slightly bowed.

On the north face of the pedestal is the inscription: DEPTFORD'S / TRIBUTE TO / HER GALLANT SONS / WHO WERE FAITHFUL / UNTO DEATH / 1914-1918 / 1939-1945. Above the inscription is a relief carving of a setting or rising sun, and below a relief carving of a rifle and sword crossed through a laurel wreath.

The memorial stands on a circular dais, either side of which is a stone pier. The piers are linked by a curved run of railings which enclose the memorial to the south, and serve as northern boundary of the memorial garden. The piers and railings form an ensemble with the memorial.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.