War memorials - War Memorials


It is estimated that there are over 70,000 war memorials in England, commemorating those lost in various wars ranging from the English Civil War right up to wars fought in the 21st century. War memorials are an important part of England’s heritage, with a memorial of some type being present in most towns and villages across the country.


What is a War Memorial?

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) maintain a register of war memorials, called the UK National Inventory of War Memorials. The IWM defines a war memorial as:

“Any tangible object which has been erected or dedicated to commemorate those killed as a result of war, conflict or peacekeeping; who served in war or conflict; or who died whilst engaged in military service.”

In addition, the IWM suggest that to be ‘erected’ or ‘dedicated’ as a memorial, there must be some form of clear statement that defines the commemorative purpose of the structure and reports its installation. This statement is often found inscribed on the memorial itself and the unveiling/dedication service is usually recorded in the media.


Types of War Memorial

On the inside of buildings, the most common type of war memorial found in England are those placed inside of buildings, particularly churches, usually taking the form of a metal plaque, stone tablet or timber board. These are often displayed with associated rolls of honour, usually written on paper and framed.

Outside of buildings, the most common type of memorial is the free-standing memorial structure, with crosses, columns, obelisks, cenotaphs and other sculpted figures.



Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024