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Keston War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Bromley Common and Keston, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.358 / 51°21'28"N

Longitude: 0.032 / 0°1'55"E

OS Eastings: 541579

OS Northings: 164059

OS Grid: TQ415640

Mapcode National: GBR MZ.6R8

Mapcode Global: VHHP9.H4S9

Entry Name: Keston War Memorial

Listing Date: 8 June 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1426522

Location: Bromley, London, BR2

County: London

District: Bromley

Electoral Ward/Division: Bromley Common and Keston

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bromley

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Keston

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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Summary

War memorial, dedicated in 1920 by Sydney March. The names of the fallen of the Second World War have been added.

Description

MATERIALS: Portland stone with bronze decoration and plaques.

DESCRIPTION: situated on the western edge of Keston Common, the memorial takes the form of a 3.9m high stylised Latin cross, with a broad face and supporting buttresses on all four sides. It stands on a low square base. The front face bears a bronze laurel wreath with two bronze plaques below. The top plaque bears the inscription ‘TO OUR GLORIOUS DEAD/ 1914-1919’ with the names of the 30 fallen below, followed by ‘THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE’. A smaller plaque below is inscribed ‘IN MEMORIAM 1939-1945’ and bears the names of the nine servicemen and 14 local civilians killed during the Second World War.

At the base of the buttress a small metal plaque bears the inscription ‘ALSO REMEMBERED/ WITH GRATEFUL APPRECIATION/ THOSE WHO, SINCE THE SECOND WORLD WAR,/ HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES IN CONFLICTS/ AND PEACE-KEEPING MISSIONS/ THROUGHOUT THE WORLD’.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Online. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 9 February 2017.

History

The memorial, commemorating those from the village of Keston who fell in the First World War, was designed by the sculptor Sydney March and unveiled on 10 March 1920 by Major General Sir Arthur Lynden-Bell KCB. The names of the fallen from the Second World War were subsequently added. The semi-circular hedge to the rear of the memorial appears on the 1933 Ordnance Survey map and it is likely that both the hedge and two yew trees in front are original planting; they enclose the memorial and are very much a part of the design, their simple forms and dark colours providing a contrast to the white stone and bronze memorial.

Sydney March (1876-1968) was born in Kingston-upon-Hull, but for most of his life he lived with his artistic siblings in Farnborough, Kent. He showed regularly at the Royal Academy between 1901 and 1932 and was responsible for a number of important memorials and public statues including the Lancaster monument in East Sheen Cemetery and Bromley War Memorial, both dated 1922 (both listed at Grade II*). He also made the marble coronation bust of King Edward VII (National Portrait Gallery). He and his siblings collaborated in the casting and completion of the National War Memorial of Canada after his brother Vernon's death in 1930.

Reasons for Listing

Keston War Memorial, designed by the artist Sydney March and unveiled in 1920, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of a world events on this community, and the sacrifices it has made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: as an accomplished and well-realised war memorial in an unusual form by a noted artist.

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