DescriptionThe driving force for the memorial was Wolverley Attwood Fordham, one of the directors of the local Fordham Brewery. A group of villagers met at his house towards the end of 1919 and formed a War Memorial Committee with Wolverley as its chairman and his wife, Phyllis as secretary. They wished to have a high quality memorial and sought designs from Lutyens, Sir Reginald Blomfield (designer of the Cross of Sacrifice that appears in the cemeteries of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) and Tappers, a local building firm. Lutyens submitted three proposals – a cross, an obelisk and a Stone of Remembrance and, after a vote of the committee, his cross was chosen. The design was exhibited in the window of one of the village shops and endorsed at a public meeting on 13 January 1920.
Despite the quick selection process it was not until 4 December 1921 that the memorial (which had been built by Messrs Holland, Hannen and Cubitt Ltd, who built the Cenotaph in Whitehall) was unveiled with Lord Hampden, the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire performing the honours. The total cost was £655/16/10 with Lutyens’s fee being £42/19/10.
Sadly Wolverley Fordham died before completion in February 1921 and he lies under a Lutyens headstone in the local cemetery. Phyllis also commissioned Lutyens to design alterations to her nearby house, Ashwell Bury. (Contributor: Tim Skelton)
War Cross on square base on two circular steps – an unusual arrangement requested by the village’s War Memorial Committee. Stands above the road and is reached by flight of six steps. Built by Holland, Hannen and Cubitt, the builders of the Cenotaph. approx.imate cost £650. Unveiled on 4 December 1921 by Lord Hampden, the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire. (Skelton, 2008, Appendix 1)
BibliographyGliddon, G. and Skelton, T.J. (2008) Lutyens and the Great War. London: Frances Lincoln
Also Cited In