The War Memorials of Epsom and Ewell

Epsom's famous clock tower has a plaque
Epsom's famous clock tower has a plaque:
'IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY'.
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014


Quick links to WW1 Memorials, WW1 Remembrance Diary and WW2 Memorials


It has been estimated that throughout the United Kingdom there are about 100,000 War Memorials of one kind or another.

Whilst the vast majority of War Memorials were created in the aftermath of the Great War, there is a long tradition in the UK of War Memorials, and it is said that Battle Abbey was built to commemorate the Battle of Hastings!

War Memorials can be found at:

Banks Churches Clubs
Market Places Parks Police Stations
Railway Stations Road Junctions Schools and Colleges
Sports Grounds Work Places

They appear in a great variety of formats, including:

Aircraft engines Allotments Books of Remembrance
Crosses Fountains Framed scrolls
Horse drinking troughs Hospitals or hospital wards Lych-gates
Park gates Part of a church or chapel Plaques
Rolls of Honour School entrances Screen in a church
Sculptures Sports pavilions Stained glass windows
Village Halls

The great variety of forms that War Memorials take perhaps stems from the fact that there has never been any Government money or directives as to what form memorials should take. Each community or interest group decided on what form their memorial should take, often influenced by how much money was available.

War Memorials form an important part of our heritage, representing the huge sacrifices made during some of the darkest episodes in our history. They should not be thought of as glorifying war, instead they ought to remind us of the terrible pain and suffering that previous generations had to endure, and might just help future generations to begin to understand that wars only bring death and suffering.

Throughout the Borough of Epsom and Ewell there are memorials commemorating Britain's conflicts:-

WATERLOO. The railings around the Dog Gate Great War memorial, at the pedestrian entrance to Bourne Hall, are said to date from 1816 and were placed there to celebrate the 'The Peace of Waterloo'. (http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk)

The railings around the Dog Gate Great War memorial
The railings around the Dog Gate Great War memorial
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

ZULU WAR. In 1879 the British fought a war against the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa. There are two memorials within the Borough to FRANCIS VERNON NORTHEY, who was killed on 6 April 1879. There is a plaque to him in St. Martin of Tours church and a stained glass window in Christ Church. (The Northeys Of Woodcote House - Part 7).

Northey Plaque
Northey Plaque
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

Northey stained glass window
Northey Stained Glass Window
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

BOER WAR 1899-1902. The Boer War was fought by the British against Dutch settlers for control over South Africa. An Epsom man, Frederick Dymoke Murray of Woodcote Hall (WoodcoteHall.html) fell in the war and is commemorated in Christ Church by an elaborate brass cruciform memorial. The difficult to decipher Old English script reads:
To the Glory of God In Memory of Frederick Dymoke Murray, Captain and Brevet Major, 42nd Highlanders, Black Watch, Commanding 2nd Regiment Scottish Horse (with Colonel Benson's Column), who fell making the last stand with the Guns at the Battle of Bakenlaagte, South Africa, on October 30th 1901 in the 30th year of his age.
After leaving Eton College Frederick Dymoke Murray joined the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) in 1891 at the age of 19. He was posted to South Africa, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1896. While serving as Aide de Camp to the Governor of Natal, he was promoted to captain in 1900 and released to fight against the Boer uprising. He was mentioned in despatches in the following terms:
great ability and energy, cool in danger, he possesses enterprise and organising power. I recommend him for advancement.
He was promoted to brevet-major for his services and appointed to command the 2nd Regiment, Scottish Horse, to work with Colonel Benson's 2000 man 'No 3 flying column'. In the developing guerrilla tactics of the Boer War, this force was making night raids on the insurgents. After a series of actions in late 1901, the column had become rather fragmented. Seeing the opportunity to take the column in stages, the Boer forces attacked at Bakenlaagte. The column's rearguard, led by Benson and Murray, made a stand against this at Gun Hill. During the fierce fighting, both sides took heavy losses, which included Benson and Murray. Outnumbered four to one, the British were quickly overcome. However, their action bought enough time for the rest of the column to re-establish its defences. (With thanks to Roger Morgan).

The Murray Cruciform
The Murray Cruciform
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

Click this link to access our GREAT WAR Memorial pages.

Click this link to access our SECOND WORLD WAR Memorial pages.

Epsom College has a website dedicated to all its ex-pupils who served in the Great War and these can be read at http://archive.epsomcollege.org.uk

WOODLAND TRUST FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY WOOD. The Woodland Trust is planning to create a wood in Langley Vale in memory of the millions who lost their lives in the First World War. (www.woodlandtrust.org.uk)

Please contact the webmaster if you are aware of any other War Memorials within the Borough.



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