Wivenhoe War Memorial
About the Wivenhoe War Memorial erected in 1921
Page created by Peter Hill
Wivenhoe’s memorial to its war dead took a relatively long time to achieve. It was unveiled at a great ceremony on 21st June 1921 which was attended by the whole town.
Several ideas had been proposed but it was the idea of a granite Cross in St Mary’s Churchyard which seemed most appropriate. 46 names are now inscribed on it (see note below) although originally there were only 45 names listed.
On 4th June 1921, the Chelmsford Chronicle carried a small article about the unveiling ceremony. It said:
The Latin cross of rugged granite erected in the Wivenhoe Churchyard, in memory of the 45 brave men who lost their lives in the Great War, was unveiled in a ceremony on Sunday by Col. T. Gibbons, D.S.O. T.D. The Rector (the Rev, Sinclair Carolin) and the Rev, W.F. Tyler (Congregational) conducted the service. A guard of honour of the 5th Essex stood with reversed arms at the entrance to the churchyard, and buglers sounded the “Last Post” and “Reveille”, with drum accompaniment. Members and officials of the Urban Council, the Memorial Committee, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, and representatives of various local institutions were among the large congregation. Col. Gibbons said he had the privilege of serving with many Wivenhoe men in the war, and held a high opinion of their qualities. The cross would be a permanent memorial of the patriotism and public spirit of Wivenhoe, which had sent over 400 men to the Colours. Numerous handsome floral tributes were laid at the foot of the cross, and a message was read from Sir John Martin Harvey, who paid tribute to the imperishable memory of the 5th Essex Regiment.
For a list of all these names which are inscribed together with links to the pages which have been created to provide some information about these men click here.
Note: A project to refurbish the Wivenhoe War Memorial was initiated by Maurice Clary of the Wivenhoe Branch of the Royal British Legion – click here for details.
1. In 2015. Ian Valentine set about compiling a list of names of all those people who served in the War, in various capacities and regiments. He researched many sources such as the Essex Regiment Museum, local newspapers, and various web sites for names of people who took part. By March 2016, he had identified 307 names and these have been added to a Roll of Honour, a book that will be dedicated at the Annual Remembrance Service to be held in St Mary’s Church in November 2016.
2. The War Memorial listed 45 names when it was first erected. The name of Harold Harlow wasn’t added until later. The reason for this is not clear. Mary Norris, who is a descendant of the Harlow family, has conducted extensive research into her family history and has not been able to determine the reason for his omission.