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Surbiton War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Kingston upon Thames, London

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Latitude: 51.3925 / 51°23'32"N

Longitude: -0.2983 / 0°17'53"W

OS Eastings: 518490

OS Northings: 167312

OS Grid: TQ184673

Mapcode National: GBR 85.1GH

Mapcode Global: VHGRG.S84C

Entry Name: Surbiton War Memorial

Listing Date: 8 February 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1432632

Location: Kingston upon Thames, London, KT6

County: London

District: Kingston upon Thames

Electoral Ward/Division: Berrylands

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Kingston upon Thames

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Surbiton Hill Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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First World War memorial, 1921, with later additions.


DETAILS: The stone memorial consists of a tall cross set in a memorial garden on Ewell Road. The wheel-head cross with a moulded foot surmounts a tapering octagonal shaft. That stands on an octagonal plinth. The moulded foot of the plinth stands on a three-stepped base. The base is surrounded by an octagonal pavement, marked to the front by two low bollards. These bollards originally bore stone urns and the garden was demarcated from the pavement by a low railing, now replaced by a hedge.

The principal dedicatory inscription on the front face of the plinth reads THE/ URBAN DISTRICT OF/ SURBITON/ WAR MEMORIAL./ IN HONOURED MEMORY OF/ THE MEN OF THIS/ DISTRICT WHO DIED FOR/ THEIR COUNTRY IN THE/ GREAT WAR 1914-1918./ AND THAT OF 1939-1945./ “LEST WE FORGET.” The commemorated names are recorded on the other faces of the plinth.

Below the principal dedication, placed on the top step of the base, the bronze plaque dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Second World War reads THIS MEMORIAL GARDEN WAS EXTENDED/ IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO FELL IN/ WORLD WAR II AND WHOSE NAMES ARE/ INSCRIBED IN THE BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE/ LODGED IN THE CENTRAL LIBRARY/ 11TH NOVEMBER 1952./ Small stone vases have been placed on the stepped base.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Behind the memorial the cairn of stones from the Church of St Mark, bearing a commemorative plaque, stands at the rear boundary of the garden. The inscription reads THIS CAIRN IS OF STONE/ FROM THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST. MARK/ WHICH WAS SEVERELY DAMAGED BY BOMBING/ ON THE NIGHT OF 2ND OCTOBER 1940. Either side are two brick walls, each carrying a large steel plaque. The plaques are inscribed IN COMMEMORATION OF/ WORLD WAR II/ 1939 – 1945/ (NAMES)/ WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. The new (2015) stone plinth and tablet commemorating Douglas Belcher VC stands to the right of the memorial cross in a small lawn. Garden benches stand at either end of the path running across the middle of the garden. These subsidiary features are excluded from this Listing.

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, 16 February 2017.


Surbiton War Memorial was erected in a memorial garden on Ewell Road and unveiled in July 1921, commemorating 382 servicemen from the borough who died in the First World War. Following the end of the Second World War a further general inscription was added to the memorial, but the names of the fallen were not accommodated. The garden was extended in November 1952, marked by a bronze plaque placed on the war memorial.

Further memorials were added to the garden. A cairn made of stone from the nearby Church of St Mark (damaged in an air-raid, and re-built in 1960) was built against the rear boundary to the garden in memory of the air raid on the night of 2 October 1940. In 2003 two short brick walls bearing stainless steel plaques were erected either side of the cairn to commemorate by name those who lost their lives during the Second World War. On 16 May 2015 a memorial tablet on a small plinth was added to the garden in memory of Douglas Belcher who received the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

Reasons for Listing

Surbiton War Memorial, which stands in the memorial garden on Ewell Road, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20;
* Architectural interest: an elegant war memorial cross;
* Group value: the memorial stands within a group of civic buildings including the Grade II-listed Sessions House.

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