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Crofton Park (St Mary Magdalen) War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Lewisham, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4593 / 51°27'33"N

Longitude: -0.038 / 0°2'16"W

OS Eastings: 536406

OS Northings: 175196

OS Grid: TQ364751

Mapcode National: GBR K7.T94

Mapcode Global: VHGR7.9L94

Entry Name: Crofton Park (St Mary Magdalen) War Memorial

Listing Date: 6 November 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1449916

Location: Lewisham, London, SE4

County: London

District: Lewisham

Electoral Ward/Division: Ladywell

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Lewisham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Summary

First World War memorial, formed of a wooden cross with Christ sculpture set on a brick plinth with plaque.

Description

Wooden cross, replete with INRI board, and a lifelike sculpture of Jesus Christ. It rests on a brick base, which bears a marble plaque resembling an open book; the left side reads (chi-rho symbol) / O CRVX AVE SPES VNICA /“GOD FORBID THAT I SHOULD / GLORY SAVE IN THE CROSS / OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST / GAL. VI 14 / TO THE MEMORY OF / MEN OF THIS MISSION / WHO IN THE GREAT WAR / 1914 - GAVE THEIR / LIVES FOR FREEDOM & / JUSTICE THIS CROSS IS / DEDICATED. The right side lists the names, followed by REQVIESCANT IN PACE.

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, 30 January 2018.

History

The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

One such memorial was raised at the Church of St Mary Magdalen in Crofton Park as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the local community who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial was the idea of Parish Priest and Assumptionist Rector of Brockley Father Marie-Louis Deydier, who had served as a military chaplain; it was unveiled on 7 July 1917 in a ceremony attended by Sir John and Lady Knill, the Mayor of Lewisham, the Assumptionist Provincial, the Lord Mayor of London, and relatives of the fallen. It was blessed by one Father Francis, as Father Deydier was still in France. The marble tablet designed by Joseph Dutton was added the following year. The memorial continues to be the focus of annual Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

Reasons for Listing

Crofton Park (St Mary Magdalen) War Memorial 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 has made in the First World War;
* Design: as a dignified war memorial depicting Christ at Calvary.

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